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In the following pages an attempt has been made to trace 
the influence of the pre -Reformation Church on Scottish 
place-names. This has been done in the light not only of 
philology but also of history and topography, and to some 
extent of ecclesiology and folk-lore. It is hoped that the 
examples given to illustrate the influence in question will 
be sufiicient to show how far-reaching it was. 

J. M. M. 

The Lrk, Mbrchiston, 
Edinburgh, February 1904. 


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V. KILS . 


VII. KILS AND SAINTS — continued 
vin. KILS AND SAINTS — continued 


XI. KIRKS AND SAINTS — continued 


XIV. CROSSES — continued, 


xviL THE DIOCESE — Continued 


XIX, THE MOiiAsrERY^continued 
XX. THE MONASTERY — continued 




















XXVI. ANNAT ....... 







. 386 



APPENDIX ...... 


INDEX ....... 




Influence of Cbriitlamty — Celtic and Roman types — Council of IVlntby — 
Introduction of medi^valijm — Temfle and Spittal — Activity of Irish 
Church — Early saints in Scottish topography —^ Holy wells — Trinity" 
Gash — Fairs — Church deiScations — Farms and saints — Burying" 
grounds — Ecclesiastical terms borrowed from Latin — Skryne^" 
Peynahachalla — Dewar^s Croft — Inchc^ay — HelTs Glen — St Angus 
at Balquhidder — Personal influence — P(^ and PapiL 

Topography has an important bearing on the history of 
the Church. If the place-names due to the influence of 
Christianity were erased from the map of Scotland, not a 
few of our most familiar landmarks would disappear. Fife 
would have no St Andrews and Galloway no Whithorn, 
Ayrshire would lose Prestwick and Monkton, Stirlingshire 
St Ninians, the Hebrides Barra, and the Orkneys Kirkwall. 
We should have to look in vain for our Kilchattans and 
Kildonans, our Kirkpatricks and Kirkmichaels. Berwick- 
shire would cease to have Abbey St Bathans and Eccles, 
Perthshire St Fillans, Mid - Lothian the parishes of St 
Cuthbert's and St Giles's, and Aberdeenshire those of St 
Fergus and Old and New Machar. 

In the following pages an attempt is made to indicate 
the influence of the Church on topography during the 
periods of Celtic and Roman Christianity.^ These two 
periods shade into each other ; but the types of Christianity 
manifested by each are tolerably distinct. The Celtic type 
was simpler and more elastic than the Roman type. The 

^ Appendix, A. 


latter came with demands for greater uniformity and with 
a growing externalism. At the Council held at Whitby 
in the year 664 the two types came into conflict. The 
questions at issue — viz., those of the tonsure and the date 
of Easter — were not important. What lay behind was 
important — viz., the question of conformity to Rome on 
the part of the Celtic Church, which till then had enjoyed 
autonomy in government and ritual. At the Council the 
Roman type prevailed, and a blow was thus struck at the 
independence of the Celtic Church. 

Another step in the Romeward direction was taken 
when, early in the eighth century, the cultus of St Peter 
was ofiicially recognised in Scotland. But the complete 
triumph of the Roman type was reserved for the period 
extending from 1069 — when Margaret was married to 
Malcolm Canmore — to 1214, when her great-grandson, 
William the Lion, died. Dtfring that period the Celtic 
Church, which was distinctively monastic in character, 
was practically superseded by the Roman Church, with its 
organised parochial system, its territorial dioceses, and 
its monasteries framed after English and Continental 
models. These monasteries in many instances first 
incorporated and then took the place of earlier Celtic 

The Templars, and the Hospitallers or Knights of St 
John of Jerusalem, had much to do with mediaeval life in 
Scotland as in other European countries. They claim 
consideration in the present volume in virtue of their 
influence on our place-names. To such influence are due 
various examples of Temple and Spittal respectively. In 
certain cases, however, as we shall see. Temple has no 
connection with the Templars, but, as Gaelic teatnpull, 
denotes simply a church — e.g., Gleann-an-TeampuU in lona 
— ue., the Glen of the Church ; and Teampull Rona at 
Eoroby in Lewis and on the island of North Rona — uc, 
the Church of St Ronan. In like manner Spittal often 
points not to the Hospitallers but to the hospitals founded 
in pre-Reformation days for such charitable purposes as 
the reception of the sick or the accommodation of wayfarers. 

For the introduction of Christianity into Scotland we 


have to look mainly to Ireland, which, after it had itself 
received the new faith, was zealous in passing it on to other 
lands. This activity of the Irish Church was an important 
factor in the extension of Christianity in Western lands. 
Bishop Forbes remarks: "The Irish missionaries, spread 
over Europe from Iceland to Tarentum, carrying with them 
their own learning and to some degree their own rites, — 
sometimes well received, more often the objects of national 
jealousy to the people among whom they sojourned, — 
formed an important element in the civilisation of the 
West."^ Many of these missionaries from Ireland have 
their names attached to Scottish localities, the scenes either 
of their own or of their disciples' activities. 

Undoubtedly the best known of them all was Columba, 
whose name survives in various forms, from Kirkcolm in 
Wigtownshire to St Combs in Buchan, and from Inchcolm 
in the Firth of Forth to Kilchalmkil in North Uist. There 
is much to attract us about Columba as we follow him 
through his biography written by Adamnan, and it is not 
surprising that his cultus was so popular in Scotland for 
many centuries. Even in far-off St Kilda there was a 
chapel called after him, and his Day in the Calendar was 
not forgotten by the islanders. The monastery of Hi or 
lona, Columba's chief settlement in Scotland, was founded 
in the year 563. From it as a centre he and his disciples 
went forth to preach a new and better faith to the nature- 
worshipping inhabitants of our land. "At the time of 
Columba's death in 597," remarks Professor Zimmer, "part 
of North Britain, including the mainland to the north of 
a line from Glasgow to Edinburgh as well as the Western 
Isles, was studded with a number of monasteries whose 
inmates concerned themselves with the spiritual welfare 
of the neighbouring population, and which were every one 
dependent on the parent-monastery in Hi." * 

Columba's successors carried on his work and enlarged 
the sphere of Christian civilisation. The way was thus 
cleared for the extension of the mediaeval Church with its 
numerous places of worship. It has been calculated that 

^ Kal., Pref., p. xiii. 

' The Celtic Church in Britain and Ireland, p. 75. 


when David de Bemham was bishop of St Andrews — viz., 
from 1239 ^o ^^53 — there were 234 churches within his 
diocese, and that about the same time there were not less 
than 1000 ecclesiastical buildings throughout Scotland.^ 

In the following pages notice is taken of several less 
known missionaries, whether Columban or not, who, though 
they did not receive canonisation at Rome, were long held 
in aifectionate remembrance, and were regarded as saints 
by the men of later times. When speaking of our early 
missionaries. Canon Isaac Taylor remarks: '^From the 
village names of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland it would be 
almost possible to compile a hagiology of these sainted 
men." > Their names still cling to many a feature of our 
landscape. We find them on some wind-swept Hebridean 
island, or in some sheltered glen far inland through which 
flows a stream telling of a long-departed saint. We find 
them on some headland, or hill, or at some spring whose 
water satisfied their thirst and supplied baptism to their 

Holy wells form an important department of antiquarian 
research ; but one has to guard against the inference that, 
because a saint's name is attached to a spring, the saint 
himself had necessarily some connection with it during 
his lifetime. In certain cases he doubtless had such con- 
nection. On the other hand, the well may have borrowed 
its name from the dedication of some neighbouring chapel. 
Tobar-Ashig in Strath parish, Skye, means the Well of 
St Asaph, disciple of St Kentigern, whom the latter ap- 
pointed his successor as the head of his monastery on the 
banks of the Ebwy in North Wales, where the cathedral 
city of St Asaph now stands. It is not likely that Asaph 
was ever in Skye ; and to find the origin of the name of 
Tobar-Ashig we have to look to a chapel to the saint which 
stood at Ashig.* The spring that gives name to St John's 
Well farm, near Stirling, is believed to have been so called 
from an adjoining chapel dedicated to St John ; and the 
same may be said of St John's Well farm in Fyvie parish, 

^ Rev. Dr Lockhart's Church of Scotland in the Thirteenth Century, 
p. 142. 
* Words and Places, p. 228. ' N. S. A., Inverness, p. 305. 


Aberdeenshire. The old church of Cushnie in the same 
shire was under the patronage of St Bridget of Kildare. 
Near it is St Bride's Well, giving name to St Bride's farm. 
In Trinity-Gask parish, Perthshire, is a spring known as 
Trinity Well, in pre - Reformation days it was of great 
renown for the performing of " miraculous cures, fortifying 
against plague, witchcraft, and such other evils." ^ One may 
legitimately infer that the spring and the parish are both 
indebted for their names to the dedication of the church 
to the Holy Trinity. 

The Cathedral church of Brechin was the successor of 
a Culdee foundation, and, like it, was dedicated to the 
Trinity. This fact gave importance to the fair held annually 
at Trinity-tide on the piece of ground about a mile from the 
burgh known as Trinity-Muir, near the village of Trinity. 
The kirk*session records of Brechin contain the following 
entry: ''21st May 1662, no session holden this day by 
reason the magistrates went immediately after sermon to 
bring in the Trinity fair." Other three fairs or markets 
were held at the same place every year. Regarding them 
and the Trinity-tide fair, Mr David D. Black, writing in 
1839, s^ys • ** Every one who has witnessed the fairs held 
on Trinity-Muir has noticed the array of halberts with 
which the council are guarded to the markets, and by 
means of which, when necessary, the decisions of the 
magistrates, given in the markets, are enforced." ' George 
Junction, on the Highland Railway, about eight miles 
from Thurso, indicates the stance of the Georgemas Fair, 
held in connection with St George's Day (23rd April). 
An ancient highway in Aberdeenshire leading across the 
hill of Culsalmond near its summit is locally known as the 
Laurence Road, because it was traversed by people on their 
way to attend Laurence Fair, held beside the market cross 
of Old Rayne.' Laurence Moor, locally known as Laurin 
Moor, about a mile and a half from Laurencekirk in 
Kincardineshire, points to Laurence Fair — an old established 
cattle-market held there in August till within recent times. 

Occasionally the name of a saint is attached to a place 

1 N. S. A., Perth, p. 335. ■ History of Brechin, pp. 65, 89. 

• N. S. A., Aberdeen, p. 731. 


to mark his connection with its church. Thus Perth was 
formerly known as St Johnstoun, its church having been 
dedicated to the Baptist; and Keith, in Banffshire, as 
Kethmalruf, from St Maelrubha of Applecross, who died in 
722, and whose name, in a curiously altered form, survived 
in Summereve Fair, held at Keith till our own times. The 
ancient parish of Culter, lying on both sides of the Dee, 
was divided in the thirteenth century into the parishes of 
Peterculter and Maryculter, recalling St Peter and the 
Virgin respectively. The former parish has still a spring 
near the church styled Peter's Well, and a high bank in 
the same neighbourhood, locally known as Peter's Heugh. 
Maryculter was a barony belonging to the Knights 
Templars, and its place of worship was dedicated to 
St Mary, the patron of their Order.^ 

Glen Urquhart, forming with Glenmoriston a parish in 
Inverness -shire, is known as Urchudainn mo Chrostain — 
1.^., St Drostan's Urquhart, to distinguish it from the 
other Urquharts in the North, — ^the tno being the honorific 
prefix so often found linked to the names of Celtic saints* 
According to the ' Breviary of Aberdeen,' Drostan was 
the nephew of St Columba, and was instructed from boy- 
hood in the Christian faith. He retired to Glenesk, in 
Angus, where he led an ascetic life. In Lochlee parish 
there, we find such names as Droustie applied to the site 
of the manse, in the neighbourhood of which is Droustie's 
Well, the "kirk of Droustie" on the loch side, and 
Droustie's Meadow close to the Tarf. Part of Aberlour 
parish, Banffshire, is known as Skirdrostan — i.^., St 
Drostan's parish, from Gaelic sgtre, a parish. The saint 
was buried at Aberdour, in Aberdeenshire. Regarding 
Aberdour church Dr John Stuart observes: "It was 
placed by the brink of a gorge on a ledge or table-land 
overlooking the burn of the Dour, at a spot about 150 
yards distant from the shores of the Moray Firth. In 
the beginning of the sixteenth century the bones of the 
saint were here preserved in a stone chest, and many 
cures were effected by means of them." Dr Stuart adds : 

* Vide "The Temple Barony of Maryculter," by Mr John Edwards in 
•Trans, of Glasgr. Arch. Society,' vol. iv., Part II., pp. 195-206. 


*' In the face of the rock, near where the stream falls 
into the sea, is a clear and powerful spring of water 
known as St Drostan's Well." ^ 

Mr William Mackay takes exception to the account of 
St Drostan, given in the ' Breviary of Aberdeen/ as in- 
dicated above, on the ground that ''he does not appear 
in the Irish genealogies of Columba's family; and he is 
not mentioned by St Adamnan, who wrote soon after the 
great missionary's death, and was careful to record the 
names of his feUow- labourers." Mr Mackay further 
remarks : ''His name is not Gaelic, as it would have been 
if he were of Columba's race, but Pictish or Welsh, — it is 
the same as Tristan of the Arthurian tales, — and the strong 
probability is that he was a native of Southern Pictland 
who penetrated into the North long before Columba's 
time." * The question is difficult ; but due weight should 
be given to the story of the connection of Columba and 
Drostan with the district of Deer in Buchan, alluded to 
in another chapter. 

The mediaeval Church has left its impress on the 
topography of Edinburgh in such names as Canongate, 
Abbeyhill, and St John's Hill, all associated with the 
monastery of Holyrood; St Leonard's Hill, so named 
from St Leonard's Hospital; the Sciennes, recalling the 
Nunnery of St Catherine of Sienna; and the Pleasance, 
indicating the site of the long- vanished Nunnery of St Mary 
of Placentia. Regarding this last, Hugo Arnot, writing 
in 1788, remarks : " Nigher to the city [than St Leonard's 
Hill], about sixty yards from the south-east angle of the 
town wall, on the west side of the street, there was a 
priory of nuns dedicated to St Mary of Placentia. This 
street still bears corruptly the name of Pleasants."* 
Dundee has also a Pleasance, pointing, it is believed, to 
a similar dedication. On the outskirts of the burgh 
is Magdalene Green, recalling a chapel to St Mary 

We find W/, a church, not only in the names of parishes, 

^ The Book of Deer, Pref., pp. iv, v. 
' Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 326. 
> The History of Edinburgh, p. 352. 


but also in those of farms where ecclesiastical buildings 
(commonly of a small size) were built in ancient times to 
commemorate some saint. Examples are to be met with 
on the mainland, but are specially numerous among the 
Hebrides, where there are, e.g., in the island of Coll, the 
farms of Kilbride and Kilfinnaig, commemorating St 
Bridget and St Finan respectively; and in Tiree those of 
Kilbride, Kilfinnan, Kilmoluag, and Kilchenich, the last 
two recalling St Moluag and St Kenneth. Regarding the 
chapel and burying-ground at Kilbride farm in Coll just 
alluded to, Mr Erskine Beveridge remarks : " This burying- 
ground is about a quarter of a mile south of the present 
Kilbride farmhouse, but close to the west of the site of a 
former one. It is fiat and rather spacious, of somewhat 
circular shape, and has been several times under tillage; 
remains of its enclosing wall still show, but there are 
practically no traces of the chapel.'*^ Many an ancient 
Highland burying-ground retains the name of some saint 
popular in the district. In Glen Lyon, in the Perthshire 
Highlands, are Cladh-Ghunnaidh and Cladh-Bhrainnu, 
signifying the burying-ground of St Guinoche and St 
Brendan respectively. The former was an adviser of King 
Kenneth MacAlpine in the ninth century, and the latter, 
famous for his many voyages, flourished three centuries 
earlier. Beside Cladh*Bhrainnu once stood a chapel 
which, local tradition says, was built in the twelfth century 
by a Macdougall of Lorn, and dedicated to St Brendan, 
the patron-saint of his native district.' Another ancient 
Glen Lyon site is Cladh Chiarain — t.^., the burying-ground 
of St Ciaran. Regarding it Mr Duncan Campbell remarks : 
" Eastward of Duneaves House on the river's brink is a 
small cornfield to which the name of Ciaran's churchyard 
— Cladh-Chiarain — pertinaciously adheres, although chapel 
and churchyard disappeared a long time ago."^ 

On the north side of Kirkapoll Bay in Tiree is Claodh- 
Odhrain, a burying-ground commemorating St Oran, one 
of St Columba's monks, who is said to have been the first 

^ Stewart's Gaelic Kingdom in Scotland, p. 76. 

' Coll and Tiree, pp. 52, 53 

* The Book of Garth and Fortingall, p. 67. 


to be baried in lona, where he was interred in Relig- 
Oran, signifying St Oran's graveyard. Dean Monro says : 
" Within this ile of Colmkill there is ane sanctuary also, 
or kirk^aird, callit in Erische Religoran, quhilk is a very 
fair kirkzaird, and weill biggit about with staine and lyme." ^ 
Relig in Gaelic is a loan word, having been borrowed from 
Latin reliquia. Cladh means primarily a bank or mound, 
and secondarily a grave or burying-ground. In the latter 
sense it is common among the Highlanders of Scotland, 
but it is not much used in Ireland.' Claodh, sometimes 
with dh omitted, is a variant of cladh. At Kingussie in 
Strathspey we find Cladh Challum - Chille, alternatively 
written Clao Colum Cille — f.^., the burying-gtound of St 
Columba. According to the late Mr Alexander Macpherson 
it was the hallowed site of ''the old church of Kingussie — 
a place of worship of remote antiquity, one of the most 
ancient north of the Grampians, planted, it is believed, 
by St Columba himself, to whom the church was dedicated." 
St Columba's Fair, known in Gaelic as Feill Challum Chille, 
used to be held in June at Cladh-Challum-Chille, and was 
resorted to from far and near. It was held partly inside 
and partly outside the graveyard. On one occasion the 
plague is said to have broken out among the frequenters 
of the fair, and a local tradition asserts that those within 
the burying-ground escaped contagion, while those without 
were attacked by the disease.' 

An enclosed piece of ground is known in Scotland as a 
"close." There was St Michael's Close near Dundrennan 
Abbey ; and in Carmichael parish we find St Bride's Close 
near Chapelhill. At the latter anciently stood a chapel 
dedicated, one may safely conclude, to St Bridget.* The 
dedication to St Bartholomew of Cousland Chapel in 
Cranston parish may reasonably be inferred from the fact 
that some land in its neighbourhood is known as Barthol- 
omew's Firlot.* Firlot is defined by Jamieson as (i) a corn 
measure in Scotland, the fourth part of a boll, and (2) the 
quantity of grain, flour, &c., contained in a measure of this 

^ Western Isles, p. 32. '' Adamnan, p. 329. 

' Church and Social Life in the Hig^hlands, pp. 126, 12. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 151. * Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 818. 


description.^ In the case of Bartholomew's Firlot, the word 
points to the extent of ground required to yield the amount 
of grain indicated. 

There were certain things unknown to Paganism, and 
consequently our pagan ancestors had no names for them. 
Sir Herbert Maxwell truly remarks: "The advent of 
Christianity introduced a new element. Words descriptive 
of ecclesiastical offices or rites were adapted from the Latin 
to suit Celtic lips."^ Latin scrinium^ a shrine, was bor- 
rowed and became scrin^ applied to an ornamental casket 
containing the relics of a saint. Such caskets were regarded 
with reverence by the Irish Church, and were preserved with 
much care. Dr P. W. Joyce mentions that several churches 
where these reliquaries were kept were known in conse- 
quence as serin, Anglicised "skreen" or "skrine," the 
best known being Skreen in Meath, sometimes styled Serin- 
Choluimeille, from its possessing some of St Columba's relics.* 
Dr W. F. Skene observes: "Among the customs which 
sprang up in the Irish Church after she had been brought 
into contact and more frequent correspondence with the 
Roman Church, and had, to some extent, adopted her 
customs, was that of disinterring the remains of their saints 
and enclosing them in shrines which could be moved from 
place to place, and which were frequently used as a warrant 
for enforcing the privileges of the founder."* 

Scottish topography has an example of the name in 
question — viz., Skryne in Forfarshire. In a charter of 136 1 
reference is made to it as "Terra del Skryne baronie de 
Panmor in Anegus." * Skryne is a farm not associated, as 
far as is known, with any chapel on its lands. To under- 
stand the name, we have to look elsewhere — viz., to Arbroath 
Abbey, of whose possessions it formed part in the thirteenth 
century.® The most feasible conclusion is that Skryne 

^ Scottish Dictionary, s.v. "Firlot." 

" Studies in the Topography of Galloway, p. 35. 

' Irish Place-Names, p. 310. 

* Celt. Scot., vol. ii. pp. 292, 293. For an account of Celtic Reliquaries, 
vide Dr Joseph Anderson's ' Scotland in Early Christian Times,' First Series, 
Lecture Sixth. 

' Reg. de Panmure, p. 174. 

' Reg. de Aberbrothoc, vol. i. p. 323. 


received its name from having been connected with some 
shrine in the monastery in question for the payment of 
whose chaplain the £a.rm was set apart. 

Another Latin term, bactdutn or bacidus^ a staff, was 
borrowed into Celtic, and became bachall in Gaelic, applied 
to the staff or crosier of a saint. It gave name to Peyna- 
bachalla in Lismore — ue., the Penny land of the bachall, 
in allusion, as we shall see in another chapter, to the 
bachall-mor or great staff of St Moluag, now in the possession 
of the Duke of Argyll. Dewar or Doire was the name 
given to the hereditary keeper of a bachall or other object 
connected with the cultus of a saint. The piece of land 
officially belonging to the Dewar was usually known as 
the Dewar's Croft — e.g., Croit-en-Deor, or Dewar's Croft, 
now part of the lands of Acharn beside Loch Tay, and at 
one time the property of the hereditary keepers of the 
crozier of St Fillan. Professor Donald Mackinnon thinks 
that Dura and Dury in Fife are merely altered forms of 

Another word borrowed from Latin was offerendumy which 
became aifrionn in Gaelic, to signify the mass. In Perth- 
shire is Inchaffray, styled in Latin charters Insula tntssarum 
— 1.^., the Island of Masses. Professor Mackinnon is of 
opinion that Hell's Glen, between Inveraray and Loch- 
goilhead, is in reality the Glen of the Mass. He thus 
explains the mistake in the name : ^' In times of persecution, 
mass could be celebrated only in secret and in lonely places. 
Perhaps for this reason the word gives name to the lonely 
glen that opens up from the head of Loch Goil. The Latin 
word infer endum has also been borrowed, as ifrinn, to denote 
'hell.' In sound, ifrinn, hell, and aifrionn^ the mass, are 
much alike ; and in the name of the glen referred to the 
words have evidently been confused: Gleann Aifrionn, the 
Glen of the Mass, appears in books as Hell's Glen 
(Gleann Ifrinn)."« 

In many a secluded glen we find traces of early Christian- 
ity which are apt to be overlooked by the casual wayfarer. 
Such traces are to be found in the Perthshire parish of 
Balquhidder. According to a local tradition, St Angus, 

Scotsman, Article No. tx. ^ Ibid. 


a disciple of St Columba, was the first missionary to the 
district ; and there are still to be met with objects and sites 
bearing his name. A sculptured slab, with a figure evidently 
of an ecclesiastic in his vestments holding a chalice in his 
hands, is known as Clach ^nais — i.e., the Stone of Angus. 
Dr John Stuart tells us : ** This stone was formerly placed 
within the old church in firont of the altar, but was removed 
by the Rev. D. Stewart less than a century ago, with the 
hope of destroying a feeling which led the young men and 
women of the parish to stand or kneel on the stone during 
the marriage ceremony, and which prompted fathers also 
to deem the baptism of their children most effectual when 
they held them up to receive the sacrament standing on 
this monument." Dr Stuart further tells us that in the 
field below the church the foundations of a building, styled 
Oirinn iEnais, or the Oratory of Angus, were to be seen 
till about the middle of last century, and that the spot where 
the saint is said to have stood when preaching to the natives 
is known as Beannach iEnais — uc, the Blessing of Angus.^ 

Mr J. Mackintosh Gow gives the following particulars 
in his 'Notes in Balquhidder,' &c. : "Saint Angus, the 
patron saint of the district, is said to have come to the 
glen from the eastward, and to have been so much struck 
with its marvellous beauty that he blessed it. The remains 
of the stone on which he sat to rest are still visible in the 
gable of one of the farm buildings at Easter Auchleskine, 
and the turn of the road is yet called Beannachadh Aonghais 
— Angus's Blessing. At this spot it was the custom in 
the old days for people going westward to show their 
respect for the saint by repeating ' Beannaich Aonghais 
ann san Aoraidh' (Bless Angus in the oratory or chapel), 
at the same time taking off their bonnets. A short distance 
east from the parish church, in the haugh below the manse, 
there are seven stones remaining of a circle which appears 
to have been about thirty feet in diameter ; only one stone 
is in its original upright position, but there are fi-agments 
of others lying about. This haugh is the stance of the old 
market of Balquhidder, long a popular one in the district. 
It was held on the saint's day in April, and named Feill- 

^ Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 33. 


Aonghais after him. Overlooking this haugh and the stone 
circle, there is a knoll named Tom -Aonghais — Angus's 
HUlock." 1 

The question often arises. Do the place-names connected 
with a saint in a particular district indicate that the saint 
himself resided there ? or had the names some other origin, 
such as the dedication of a chapel to him by some disciple ? 
In many cases the evidences in favour of a saint's residence 
are tolerably conclusive. The late Mr Charles Stewart 
enumerates certain tests that may lead to a satisfactory 
conclusion on the point. He says: ''When we find in a 
district the saint's place of residence, the field or croft which 
he cultivated, the pool where he baptised his converts, the 
meal-mill of which he erected the original, particular spots 
where incidents connected with his history occurred, and, 
above all, the record of his life and successful work handed 
down from generation to generation, and still green in the 
hearts of the people, we may conclude unreservedly that he 
personally laboured therein. Even should some of these 
marks be wanting, yet enough may remain to enable us to 
come to the same result." * 

During the Viking period in Scotland roving bands came 
to our northern and western isles, and found there various 
traces of Celtic Christianity. These traces they did their 
best to obliterate. In 795 lona was ravaged by marauding 
bands of Norsemen. In 802 its monastery was burned, 
and four years later the monks on the island to the number 
of sixty -eight were slaughtered.* Local topography still 
bears witness to the tragedy in the name of Port-na- 
Mairtear — i.e., the Haven of the Martyrs — on the east of the 
island, with Ru-Phort-na-Mairtear — i.e., the promontory of 
the haven in question — skirting the inlet on the south. 

By these Norse rovers a Columban ecclesiastic was de- 
scribed by the general appellation of Papa — i.e.. Pope or 
Priest. Captain F. W. L. Thomas gives various place- 
names embodying the word in one form or another. In 
Shetland, eg., are Papa Stour (or Great), Papa Little and 

^ p. S. A. Scot., vol. xxi. p. 83. 

* Gaelic Kingdom in ScoUand, pp. 100, loi. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 290. 


Papa in the Bay of Scalloway, with Papal or Papil in the 
islands of Unst and Yell respectively. In Orkney are Papa 
Stronsay, Papa Westray, Paplay in South Ronaldshay, 
Paplay in the parish of Holm, and Papdale near Kirkwall. 
In the Hebrides we find Payble (North Uist), Papadill for 
Papa-dalr (Rum), Paible (Harris), and Pyble (Lewis), as well 
as Pabbay (Skye), Pabay (Lewis). These last signify the 
priest's island. Papal and Payble, with their variants, 
Captain Thomas thinks, are for papa-byli or pap-byli — 1.«., 
priests'-abode ; byli being presumably another form of bol, 
a homestead or dwelling. It is interesting to observe that 
in Iceland there are two places, called respectively Papey 
and Papyli, where Celtic missionaries had settled, and 
where their missals, bells, and crosiers were discovered by 
the Scandinavian colonists after the middle of the ninth 

^ p. S. A. Scot., vol. xi. pp. 490, 491 ; and Orkn. Saga, Pref., p. xx, 
note, and p. 38, note. 



Saints^ names — St Andre<u)s — St Peter^s — St Jameses — St Leonardos — St 
Rottox — St Martinis — St Germain* s — St Laurence* s — St Catherine's — 
Ceres and St Cyrus— St Nicholas — St Ola— St Madoes—St Serfs— 
Stroivan — Findo - Gasi and St Fink — Methven — St Fillans — Ken- 
noway — Birme — St Monans — St David's — St Skeoch — St Madden* s — 
St Vigeans — Nevay — Oyne — Machar — St Fergus — Sgire^na^Luac — 
Columii — Macallan — Marnoch — St Ninians — St Quivox — Colmonell 
— St Mungo'sf Glasgow—St Bathans — St AbVs — St Cuthhert's — 
St Giles* s-^St Boswelis. 

Most of the saints here introduced are mentioned elsewhere 
in these pages, but we hear of them now in connection with 
localities marked simply by their names. Such localities 
make us ask who were the saints, and what was their con- 
nection with the places indicated ? 

The name St Andrews suggests the question, What con- 
nection had Andrew the Apostle with that ancient seat of 
learning and centre of religious life in mediaeval Scotland ? 
St Andrews became the ecclesiastical metropolis in the 
tenth century, when the chief bishopric of Alban was re- 
moved thither from Abernethy in Perthshire. But we have 
to look for the ecclesiastical origin of the place at a date 
about two centuries earlier. Dr Skene holds that in 736, 
during the reign of Angus, son of Fergus, Bishop Acca of 
Hexham, having fled from his own diocese, took refuge 
among the Picts, and brought with him to Fife certain 
bones believed to be those of St Andrew.^ In an address 

^ St Andrew is believed to have been crucified at Patras, in Achaia. 
Owen, in his 'Sanctorale Catholicum' (p. 465 and note), says: "The 
holy Apostle's remains were honourably interred by Maximilla, the wife 


delivered at St Andrews, the late Marquess of Bute ob- 
serves: "It is certain that Angus, King of the Picts, re- 
ceived reliques of the Apostle, which he placed here, and 
immolated this place, the antient Muckross, the more 
modern Cillrighmonaich, to the Apostle, from whom it is 
now named." The Marquess adds : " Whatever the history 
of these bits of bone, and whether they were or were not 
part of the body of the first-called apostle of Christ, they 
were undoubtedly believed at the time to be genuine, and 
they were the immediate cause of the creation of St 
Andrews as the great national Church of Scotland.'*^ 
According to a well-known tradition the relics of St Andrew 
were brought from the East to Fife in the fourth century 
by St Regulus, otherwise St Rule; but much uncertainty 
attaches to the chronology of the story. Regulus is some- 
what of a hagiological problem which even Dr Skene, 
with all his historical knowledge, has failed to completely 
solve.* We find a trace of St Andrew in the far North, 
for in the mainland of Orkney is the parish of St 
Andrews, separate quoad sacra, but united quoad civilia to 
Deemess. In Elginshire was the ancient parish of St 
Andrews, joined to Lhanbryd in 1780. Its church is gone, 
but its burying-ground remains, close to the Lossie, near 

By Nectan, ruler of the Picts, St Peter was made the 
guardian of his kingdom in 710; but later in the same 
century St Andrew took his place, and, as every one knows, 
is still reckoned the patron saint of Scotland.* We have 
a trace of Peter in the ancient parish of St Peter's in the 

of the pro-consul, and afterwards translated by the Emperor Constantine 
the Great to the Church of the Apostles at Constantinople." "Amalfi in 
Southern Italy claims a second translation ais well as the patronage of 
St Andrew.'' — *Celt. Scot.,' vol. ii. pp. 222, 271-274, and 'P. S. A. Scot.,' 
vol. iv. pp. 314, 315. 

^ University of St Andrews : Rectorial Address (1893), p. 25. 

' Vide P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxvii. pp. 247-254; Skene's Celtic Scotland, 
vol. ii. pp. 261-275 * ^^^ Bishop Dowden's The Celtic Church in Scot- 
land, pp. 329-331. 

' Miss Florence Peacock remarks : '*The patron-saint of Scotland seems 
in some parts of England to be held in high esteem ; in Lincolnshire alone 
there are no less than sixty-eight churches dedicated to him." — * Curious 
Church Customs,' pp. 40, 41. 


Orcadian island of Stronsay, and in St Peter's village ^ in 
Boreray in the Outer Hebrides. 

Another apostle, James, is represented in the name of 
the ancient district known as St James's parish, now included 
in that of Roxburgh. Its church was dedicated on the 
17th April 1 134. The building was nearly destroyed about 
the year 1425 during the Border wars, but was sifterwards 
restored.* Its ruins remained till modern times, when the 
stones were removed for building purposes. The church 
stood on a piece of ground still known as St James's Green, 
where, according to the ' N. S. A.,'* St James's Fair is held 
annually on the 5th August, being St James's Day (O.S.) 

As we have seen, the relics of St Andrew were brought 
at an early date to Fife. Many pilgrims flocked to his 
shrine, and a hospital was built for their reception some 
time, it is believed, in the twelfth century. This hospital, 
like so many others, was dedicated to St Leonard, but was 
suppressed by Prior Hepburn in 1512, when St Leonard's 
College was founded. The saint continues to be remembered 
in the name of St Leonard's parish. According to Alban 
Butler, Leonard was a French nobleman at the Court of 
Clovis I., but quitted the Court and sought retirement at 
Mobilac, near Limoges, where he founded a monastery, 
called after him St Leonard de Noblat. He died about the 
middle of the sixth century. He was noted for his kindness 
to captives, and became, in after-times, their patron saint. 
His emblem in art is a chain, in allusion to this trait in his 
character.* The Rev. R. Owen mentions that " Bohemond, 
Prince of Antioch, son of Robert Guiscard, when he came 
to France in 1106, visited Limoges and offered silver fetters 
to St Leonard as a thankoflering for his escape from 

Another French saint, St Roche, Rook, or Roque, has 
left a trace of himself in the west of Scotland in the district 
of Glasgow known as St RoUox, which is merely his name 
in an altered form. He belonged to Montpellier in 
Languedoc. After visiting Italy, where he was seized 

^ Martin, p. 59. ^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 455. • Roxburg^h, p. 351. 

' Husenbeth's Emblems of Saints, pp. 128, 129. 
' Sanctorale Catholicum, p. 438, note. 



with the plague but recovered, he returned to Montpellier, 
and died there about 1327. He was invoked by persons 
suffering from pestilence. When speaking of the sick 
going in hope of cure to the shrines of different saints. 
Sir David Lyndsay says: — 

" Sum to St Roche, with diligence 
To saif thame from the pestilence." ^ 

His cultus seems to have been popular in Scotland, where 
there were five chapels dedicated to him — ^viz., at Edinburgh, 
Dundee, Stirling, Paisley, and Glasgow, the last giving 
name to St RoUox.* It was built about 1508 by Thomas 
Mureheid, a canon of Glasgow Cathedral, and stood a 
little way beyond the Stable-Green Port, near the head of 
what is now Castle Street. M*Ure, writing in 1736, says : 
"There is no vestige remaining of the building, but the 
yard that was round it is still conspicuous, and some persons 
of distinction of the city, who died of the j)estilence anno 
1645 and 1646, were buried here." ' 

St Martin, another inhabitant of Gaul, is found in Scottish 
topography. He was not a native of Gaul, having been 
born at Sabaria in Pannonia, and educated at Pavia in 
Italy. His father was a soldier, and he himself was some 
time in the army, but quitted it for a life of religious retire- 
ment. His austere piety led to his election as Bishop of 
Tours on the Loire in 371, and he continued such till his 
death in 397, at the age of eighty or thereabouts.* The 
introduction of his cultus into Scotland was due to St 
Ninian. There are various signs of his popularity north 
of the Tweed. ** Sanct - Martines alias Melginche " — 
(Megginch) — in Errol parish, occurs in a charter in 1633 ; * 
and we find Inchmartin in the same neighbourhood. 
Another Perthshire instance is St Martin's parish, com- 
prising since the end of the seventeenth century the ancient 
parish of Cambusmichael, and having within it the estate 

^ Poetical Works, vol. iii. p. 6. 

* <* We find the forms Rok and RoUock at Paisley. St RoUock's kirkland 
there is mentioned in 1658." — * Paisley Burg^h Records,' p. 140. 

' History of Glasg-ow, p. 62. 

* There is some doubt as to his precise dates. ' R. M. S. 


of St Martin's Abbey. The ancient parish of Cullicudden 
in Ross-shire, now part of ResoliSi had its church dedi- 
cated to St Martin, and according to the ' N. S. A.' ^ is still 
called in Gaelic Sgire a Mhartinn — Le*, the Parish of St 

St GermainSy in East Lothian, refeired to in the chapter 
on ''The Templars," is called after yet another French 
saint — Germanus, Duke, and afterwards Bishop, of Auxerre. 
Before entering the religious life he was specially devoted 
to the pleasures of the chase ; and in art we find him rep- 
resented with the dead bodies of wild beasts lying around 
him.^ He visited Britain twice — first with St Lupus of 
Troyes in 429 to suppress Pelagianism, and again, in 446, 
with Severus, Bishop of Treves. On the former occasion 
he headed an army of Christian Britons in a battle 
against the pagan Picts and Saxons near Mold in North 
Wales, at a place afterwards called Maes-y-Garmon — ue., 
St Germain's Plain, the halleluiahs of the clergy gaining 
the day for the Britons.' Probably in consequence of this 
he was very popular in Wales. In Cornwall we find the 
town and river of St Germains called after him. He died at 
Ravenna in 448, and was buried at Auxerre. His shrines 
were favourite resorts of health-seekers, who, according to 
Sir David Lyndsay, ran 

" To Sanct Germane to get remeid 
For maladeis into thair heid." ^ 

Slamannan parish in Stirlingshire was, in pre- Reformation 
times, known as St Laurence, and in legal documents is 
still styled " the parish of Slamannan, otherwise St Laur- 
ence." Near the church is a spring called St Laurence's 
Well. The saint was a deacon at Rome, who suffered 
martyrdom about the middle of the third century by being 
roasted on a gridiron. The story of his having presented 
the poor of Rome to the pagan governor when the treasures 
of the church were demanded of him, coupled with that of 

^ Ross, p. 38. ^ Husenbeth's Emblems of Saints, p. 92. 

* Bede's Ecclesiastical History, lib. i. cap. xx. 

* Poetical Works, vol. iii. p. 6. 


his heroism in suffering, made the name of Laurence 
popular in Christendom. 

Another early martyr, St Catherine of Alexandria, is 
probably recalled by St Catherine's on Loch Fyne, opposite 
Inveraray. Much fable is mingled with her biography. The 
Rev. Thomas Lees observes : " None of our most ancient 
English churches are dedicated to her. In fact, her legend 
is not earlier than the eighth century, and was not intro- 
duced into Western Christendom till after the Crusades in 
the eleventh century, Her cultus then became rapidly 
popular."* She is said to have met her death early in 
the fourth century. A spiked wheel was destined for her 
execution; but this being miraculously destroyed, she was 
beheaded. A wheel, however, continues to be her usual 
emblem in art. In the fifteenth century St Catherine's 
was the name of a small district in Shotts parish, Lanark- 
shire, surrounding the church. In this case the name 
recalls not St Catherine of Alexandria but St Catherine of 
Sienna, who died in 1380 and was canonised in 1461. 
Chalmers says: ''James, Lord Hamilton, having acquired 
in February 1471-2 an extensive tract of land in the moor- 
land district which afterwards formed the parish of Shotts, 
he founded there a chapel, which was dedicated to St 
Catherine of Sienna; and he founded at the same place 
a hospital for the reception of the poor, which he endowed 
with some lands at Kinneil. Those several foundations 
were confirmed by a bull of Sixtus IV. on the 30th of April 
476. This hospital disappeared after the Reformation ; but 
St Catherine's chapel was constituted a parish church when 
the parish of Shotts was erected." * 

Ceres in Fife and St Cyrus ' in Kincardineshire are both 
believed to have been called after St Cyric, otherwise Cyr 
or Quiricus, an infant martyr who met his death, along with 
his mother Julitta, at Tarsus in Cilicia, during one of the 
pagan persecutions early in the fourth century.* A spring 
in St Cyrus parish bears the saint's name, and near it is 

' Transactions of Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Arcb- 
aeological Society, vol. xi., Part I. 
3 Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 658. ' Vide " Ecclesgreig *' in cbap. iv. 

* KaL, s.v. "Cyricius." 


a piece of ground known as St Cyrus Ward.* The southern 
part of Stronsay island at one time formed the parish of 
St Nicholas, so named from the Bishop of Myra, who, like 
Cyric, belonged to the fourth century, but was a confessor, 
not a martyr. From a mediaeval point of view it was fit 
that an Orcadian parish should bear the name of St 
Nicholas, for he was reckoned the patron-saint of sailors, 
and we know how zealously a seafaring life has been 
followed among our northern isles. St Ola, another ancient 
Orcadian parish, now united to Kirkwall, to which its kirk 
gave name, recalls St Olaf the Holy, King of Norway, 
who is said to have been converted firom paganism by a 
hermit in the Isles of Scilly.' He died in battle in the year 
1030. According to the ' Registrum Episcopatus Aber- 
donensis,'' "the veneration of St Olaf extended both to 
Scotland and England." There was a church dedicated 
to him at Cruden, and among the articles enumerated in 
an inventory of the treasury of the Cathedral of Aberdeen 
in 1518 there is "a small image of St Olaf, of silver 
decorated with precious stones." 

When St Boniface came to evangelise Pictland in the 
seventh century he was accompanied by a band of followers. 
One of these was Madianus, who is still remembered in 
the Perthshire parish of St Madoes, otherwise known as 
Semmidoes or Semmidores. The ''stannin' stanes o' 
Semmidores" are mentioned in an old ballad. St Serf, 
otherwise Servanus, gave name to the ancient parish of St 
Serfs, united to Luncarty and Redgorton prior to 1619 to 
form the present parish of Redgorton. The saint had 
associations with Dunning and Culross. At the latter 
place he is said to have instructed St Mungo. His festival 
was held there tiU modern times on July ist, the in- 
habitants marching in procession and carrying green 
boughs in honour of the day.^ The belief in the connection 
between St Mungo and St Serf at Culross is an ancient 
one, as is shown by two entries in the Lord High 
Treasurer's Accounts* relative to offerings made by James 
IV. in 1511 : " Item, the v day of October offerit in the 

^ O. S. A., vol. xi. p. 89. * Sanctorale Catholicum, p. 327. 

* Vol. ii. p. 172. • Appendix, B. • Vol. iv. p. 176. 


Chapele of Sanct Mungo besid Culrose xiiij sh." ^* Iteixii 
oflferit to Sanct Serfis fertur [i.e., reliquary], xiiij sh." 
Bishop Forbes remarks : '^ The evangelisation of the west 
of Fife^ and the district on either side of the Ochils is 
attributed to S. Servanus, who, as Serf or Sair in the 
popular language of Scotland, as Serb in the ancient writings 
of Ireland, occupies an important place in the religious 
history of Scotland" As a matter of fact, there seem to 
have been two saints called Serf, one circa 500 and another 
two centuries later. Mr David Beveridge mentions that 
there is a curious old bridge in Glendevon bearing St 
Serfs name.^ 

Monzievaird parish, united to Strowan in the seventeenth 
century, had St Serf as its patron saint, though it was 
not called after him : but Strowan bears the name of 
another early missionary, St Rowan or Ronan, who, 
according to Skene, died in 737 as Bishop of Kingarth in 
Bute.* There are traces of the saint in the district. St 
Rowan's bell, connected with the custody of which were 
three acres of land, is still preserved in Strowan House. 
Pol- Ronan, or St Ronan's Pool, " is a deep linn in |the 
river Earn, about one hundred yards above the bridge of 
Strowan." Near the pool used to be held Feill-Ronan or 
St Ronan's Fair, at a spot still marked by a cross bearing 
the sacred initials I. N. R. I.* A farm in the neighbour- 
hood is called the Carse of Trowan.* Findoca and Fincana 
were two saintly virgins who are said in the ' Martyrology 
of Aberdeen ' to have had churches in the diocese of 
Dunblane. They have the same day in the calendar 
(13th October), and this probably led to the notion that 
the two names represented one individual. The former 
gave name to Findo-Gask, and the latter to St Fink, an 
estate in Bendochy parish, close to which are the 
foundations of a chapel dedicated to the saint. The Hill 
of St Fink is in the neighbourhood. One of the daughters 

^ Kal., s»v, '* Servantis." 

^ Mr Beveridge discusses the problem of the two Serfs in his ' Culross 
and TuUiallan,' vol. i. pp. 44-72. 
' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. ^2, * N. S. A., Perth, pp. 724, 740. 

^ Chronicles of Stratheam, p. 38. 


of St Donevald of the Den of Ogilvie, circa 716, was named 
Fincana, and she may have been the saint in question. 

Methven, locally pronounced Me£fen, a Perthshire parish 
with a viUage of the same name, was probably so called 
from St Methven, who had a chapel, and a fair styled 
St Methvanmas market, in the adjoining parish of Fowlis* 
Wester. The 'Martyrology of Aberdeen' connects St 
Bean — not, however, the same as St Bean of Mortlach — 
with Fowlis- Wester, and it is possible that, with the 
honorific Ma or Mo prefixed to Bean, the name might 
assume the form Meffen or Methven. From 'The 
Provostry of Methven,'^ by the late Rev. T. Morris, we 
learn that, ''so far as conjecture is concerned, tradition 
is almost unanimous in ascribing to Culdeesland the site 
both of the original baronial castle and the local religious 

The village of St Fillans in Comrie parish, at the foot 
of Loch Earn and near Dunfillan, recalls the name of 
Faolan the Stammerer or the Leper, of Irish birth, but 
usually described as of Rath Erenn in Alban — t.e., the 
Fort of the Earn in Scotland, now Dundurn, an ancient 
parish whose church was dedicated to Faolan. St Phillans, 
the old name of Forgan * parish in Fife, recalls, not Faolan 
the Stammerer but Faolan of Strathdochart. Kennoway, 
another parish in the same shire, was so called, according 
to Bishop Reeves, from a saint of the sixth century known 
in Ireland as Cainnech and in Scotland as Kenneth. 
Reeves remarks : " His festival, both in Ireland and 
Scotland, is October the eleventh. There are six lessons 
at his festival in the ' Breviary of Aberdeen,* intituled, 
' Sancti Caynici Abbatis qui in Kennoquhy in diocesi 
Sancti Andree pro patrono habetur.* The church here 
mentioned is Kennoway in Fife."* A bell, once belonging 
to the parish church of Kennoway, but now at Borthwick 
Hall in Mid-Lothian, bears the inscription, in raised letters, 

^ Pp. I, 2. 

^ The parish contains St Fort. Old forms of the name are Sanctfuird, 
Sandfurde, and Samfurde. In Dalrymple parish, Ayrshire, is St Valley, 
and there is Pinvalley near the Stinchar in the same county, but nothing" 
is known regarding the saint, if indeed we have a saint in the name at all. 

* Adamnan, p. 270. 


'Tm for the Kirk o' Kennochi."^ Birnie in Elginshire, 
formerly Brennach, embodies in a slightly altered form 
the name of St Brendan, "the voyager," to whom its 
church is believed to have been dedicated. "Birnie 
church," remarks Dr Anderson, "is the only one in the 
district which is constructed with nave and chancel, and 
the occurrence of two sculptured stones of early type in- 
dicates that it was a Christian settlement from an early 
date." Its bell, styled "the Ronnell Bell of Birnie," 
belongs to the well-known class of quadrangular bells 
associated with the early days of Celtic Christianity.* 

St Monans, on the south coast of Fife, with its church 
picturesquely placed close to the sea, was anciently as- 
sociated under the name of Inverry with the cultus of a 
saint regarding whom divergent views have been taken. 
When speaking of St Adrian and his company, who are 
said to have arrived in Fife from Hungary in the ninth 
century, Wyntoun says: — 

" In Inverey Saynct Monane, 
That off that cumpany wes ane, 
Chesyd hym so nere the se 
Till lede hys lyff; thare endyt he." 

On the other hand, Skene holds that Adrian and his band 
came from Ireland, and that, "so far from being accom- 
panied by a living St Monan, who lived at Inverry, they 
had probably brought with them the relics of the dead St 
Moinenn, Bishop of Clonfert, of the sixth century, in 
whose honour the church, afterwards called St Monans, 
was founded."' A difficulty in the way of accepting 
Skene's view lies in the fact that the traces of Monan's 
cultus in Scotland point to one who had some connection 
with our land, either personally or through the medium 
of disciples, rather than to one whose only link with it was 
the introduction of his relics nearly three hundred years 
after his death. We find St Monan's Wynd at Edin- 

^ Gai., 5.V. ''Kennoway," note. 

' Scotland in Early Christian Times, First Series, pp. 177, 178. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ti. p. 314. 


burgh ;^ St Monan's Well at Pittenweem; St Monan's 
Cave at Inverry ; St Monan's Cbaplainry in Kiltearn parish, 
Ross-shire.* Some writers have sought to identify Monan 
with St Ninian of Whithorn, who is called Nynias by Bede, 
and by Irish writers Monennius, with the honorific prefix ; 
but this identification is not a likely one. The church of 
St Monan's was founded by David II. about the year 1362. 
It is a "fine specimen of middle pointed Gothic," and con- 
sists of a chancel, north and south transepts, and a tower 
at their intersection.^ There are conflicting accounts re- 
garding the foundation of the church. According to one 
tradition David built it, because at the tomb of St Monan 
he was miraculously freed from a barbed arrow with which 
he had been wounded at Neville's Cross a number of years 
before.* According to another, the king's motive was 
gratitude for having been saved from shipwreck when he 
and the queen were crossing the Firth in a storm. King 
David I., described by his successor James I. (of Scotland) 
as "ane sair saunt for the croon," on account of his 
munificent grants to the Church, was noted as the founder 
of bishoprics and religious houses. He died in ii53» after 
a reign of twenty-nine years. In Dalgetty parish, Fife, is 
the seaport of St Davids ; and in Madderty parish, Perth- 
shire, is the village of St Davids, occupying the site of 
Craig of Madderty, which had been formed into a burgh of 
barony in 1626. 

The parish of Craig in Forfarshire comprises the ancient 
parishes of Inchbrayock or Craig and St Skeoch or Dun- 
ninald, united in 1618. On the edge of the cliff overhang- 
ing the sea is the picturesque burying-ground of St Skeoch 

* ** In olden times there was a wynd leading- from the High Street to the 
Cowgate called S. Monan's or S. Mennan's Wynd, from a chapel of the 
saint which stood in it. Its entrance was nearly opposite to the east 
end of S. Giles's church." — * Lectures on the Religious Antiquities of Edin- 
burg^h,' Last Series, p. 114. Eldinburgh, 1874. 

* O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 478. 

* Walker's Pre-Reformation Churches in Fifeshire. 

* In the < Marty rology of Aberdeen' we read, under date March 1st, 
" In Scotia Sancti Monani confessoris apud Inuere in Fyfe quem locum 
£ania sanctitatis Monani tam de vrbibus quam de agris vulgus innumer- 
abile tam validonim quam languidorum ad beneficia Monani consequenda 
continue confluit." 


or St Skay, where once stood a chapel. The rock of St 
Skeoch on the beach below is also known as the Elephant 
Rock, from its resemblance to that animal. Attempts have 
been made to identify St Skeoch, but with no satisfactory 
result. Bishop Forbes remarks : ** The name of the parish 
is found as S. Scawachie in the 'Charge of the Tempor- 
ality of Kirklands north of the Forth.' Dr Reeves con- 
jectures that the name may be a corruption of Eochaidh. 
Of this name there are three saints in the Irish calendar ; 
one was Abbot of Lismore, a.d. 634. There was an Echoid 
who was one of the twelve disciples, and relations, of St 
Columba. There is a Skeoch in Rothesay, and it is 
curious that in this place is St Brock Fair ; while close to 
the Forfarshire St Skay is Inchbrayock. In Mauchline is 
Skeoch Hill. In the parish of St Ninians is a chapel at 
Skeoch, a mile below Bannockburn, dedicated to the 
Virgin." 1 St Ninian's Well at Stirling, to be referred to later, 
was anciently called Tibbermasko — ue., St Skeoch's Well. 
Mr J. S. Fleming tells us that in 1489 the Sandilands 
family endowed a chapel at Tibbermasko, on Wellcroft, at 
Stirling.' The hamlet of St Madden's or St Medan's in 
the parish of Airlie, where are also St Medan's Well and 
St Medan's Knowe,' probably retains the name of St 
Modan, believed to have been a contemporary of St Ronan. 
Skene says : " Modan appears in the Scotch calendars as 
an abbot on the fourth February, and as a bishop on the 
fourteenth November; but the dedications to him are so 
much mixed up together that it is probable that the same 
Modan is meant in both."* The church of Airlie was 
dedicated to St Medan. St Maddan's chapel at Freswick 
in Caithness seems to have been dedicated to the same 
saint; and it is likely that he gave name to Auchmedden 
and Pitmedden in Aberdeenshire. We find St Meddan 
also at Troon in A3^shire. 

The parish of St Vigeans, known alternatively as 
Aberbrothock till about 1360, is named after St Fechan 
(Latinised Vigeanus), who, according to local tradition, 

» Kal,, *.v. "Skay.' 

* Ancient CasUes and Mansions of Stirling- Nobility, p. 283. 

• P. S. A. Scot., vol. V. pp. 350-357. * Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 282. 


had a chapel, a hermitage, and a well at Grange of Conon, 
and flourished towards the end of the tenth century.^ 
With more probability the saint may be identified with St 
Fechan, Abbot of Fobhar or Fore in Westmeath, who 
lived in the seventh century, and had a monastic settlement 
on Ardoilean, an almost inaccessible island six miles off 
the coast of Connemara, where remains of buildings, 
surrounded by a cashel or stone-rampart, are still visible.^ 
The church of St Vigeans stands on a mound close to the 
Brothock, a mile and a half from the sea, and has a special 
claim on antiquaries on account of its valuable collection 
of early sculptured stones.* A fair, known as St Vigean's 
or St Virgin's market, was long held annually in the 
parish in January. 

The ancient Forfarshire parish of Nevay, united to 
Eassie prior to the middle of the seventeenth century, 
derived its name in all probability from St Neamha 
(pronounced Neva), grandson of Brychan of Wales, and 
Abbot of Lismore, who died circa 6io. The ruined church 
of Nevay still stands in its ancient burying-ground. 

Oyne parish in Aberdeenshire perhaps recalls St 
Adamnan. According to Mr J. Macdonald, ^'Adamnan 
might become Unyn, one of the oldest forms of Oyne, if 
Robertson's * Index of Charters ' is correct." * The ancient 
parish of Machar, Aberdeenshire, comprising what are 
now the parishes of Old Machar and Upper or New 
Machar, has St Machar or Macarius as its eponymus. 
He is otherwise known as Mauritius or Mocumma, and 
is said in the * Martjnrology of Aberdeen * to have died 
Archbishop of Tours, — manifestly a proleptic title, seeing 
that he was a contemporary of St Columba in the sixth 
century. He was of Irish birth, but his missionary work 

^ N. S. A., Forfar, p. 490. 

^ ''The doorway [of the church on Ardoiiean] is two feet wide and four 
feet six inches hig^h ; and its horizontal lintel is decorated with a cross 
exactly similar to that on the lintel of St Fechin's Church at Fore." — 
Dr Joseph Anderson's 'Scotland in Early Christian Times,' vol. i. p. 86. 

' P. S. A., vol. ix. pp. 481, 498; and Early Christian Monuments of 
Scotland, Part III., pp. 234-2421 267-280. 

* The Place-Names of West Aberdeenshire, by Jas. Macdonald {s.v. 
" Oyne ^. 


was chiefly associated with Scotland. Columba is said 
to have sent him to Pictavia with instructions to build 
his church where he found a stream making a curve in 
the form of a pastoral staff. This he found at Old Aberdeen 
where St Machar's Cathedral now stands.^ 

The parish of St Fergus in Buchan, known formerly 
as Inverugie or Langley, received its name from St Fergus, 
who died at Glamis circa 750. He was for some time a 
bishop in Ireland, though probably of Scottish birth, and 
according to Skene was one of the bishops who attended 
the ecclesiastical council at Rome in 721. His relics were 
much valued. His arm was kept in Aberdeen Cathedral,' 
and his head at Scone where it was preserved in a silver 
case ordered for it by James IV.,' and where the king 
made an offering to it of 14 sh. on nth October 1504.^ 
His bacheel, or crosier, according to the 'Aberdeen 
Breviary,' once stilled a storm by being thrown into the 
waves. We find traces of him in Strathearn,* and in the 
shires of Forfar, Aberdeen, and Caithness. He was patron 
of Wick, and his memory was formerly much revered there. 
His stone image in the burgh was destroyed in 1613 by 
the Rev. Dr Merchiston of Bower, and the inhabitants 
were so enraged that they drowned the minister in the 
river of Wick when he was returning home. The report 
was spread abroad that St Fergus himself did the drowning, 
having been seen astride of the minister and holding him 
down in the water.® 

Cromdale parish on Speyside was anciently called Sgire- 
na-Luac, the Parish of St Luac of Lismore ; Columba has 
his name represented in St Colm's, the ancient name of 
Burness parish in Sanday Island, Orkney, and in St Combs, 
a village in Buchan, regarding whose church Dr Pratt writes : 
"The ruins of St Colm's kirk are to be seen at the east 

» Kal., j.w. "Mauritius." 

' Collections for History of Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, p. 344. 

* Celt. Scot«, vol. ii. pp. 232, 233. 

* Lord Hig-h Treasurer's Accounts, vol. ii. p. 265. 

' '' He dedicated three churches to Saint Patrick — viz., at Strageath, at 
Stnithill, and at Blairinroar. At the last-mentioned place some cot-houses 
are still called St Patrick's." — 'Chronicles of Stratheam,' p. 39. 

* Calder's History of Caithness, p. 186. 


end of the village of the same name. The church stood 
on the northern slope of the hill, on a sort of knoll, about 
one hundred and fifty yards from the sea. The situation 
is similar to those in which the Columban monks seemed 
to delight — commanding a fine view of the ocean." ^ 
Columba's name, in an altered form, appears in Columkil 
in Torosay parish, Mull, where there are the ruins of a chapel 
dedicated to him.^ Regarding the latter form of the saint's 
name, Dr Reeves remarks : " He was baptised by the 
presbyter Cruithnechan, under the name Colum, to which 
the addition of cille, signifying 'of the church,' was sub- 
sequently made, in reference to his diligent attendance at 
the church of his youthful sojourn." Dr Reeves adds: 
" Not churches, for then the name would be Colum-nagh- 
ceall,"^ though the saint might well have been called 
Columba of the churches, for many indeed were founded 
by him. 

Knockando parish, Elginshire, comprises the ancient 
parishes of Knockando and Macallan, the latter signifying 
St Colin. The date of his death is given by Forbes* as 
497. In Ireland he was known as Maculin of Lusk, and 
is said to have twice visited Scotland and to have been in 
repute there. The church of Macallan became ruinous about 
1760. The parish of Marnoch in Banffshire, anciently styled 
also Aberchirder, derived its name from St Marnoch, other- 
wise Maman or Ernan, who, dying at an advanced age in 
625, was buried in its church. His relics were carefully 
preserved. According to the * Breviary of Aberdeen ' his 
head was washed every Sunday, and the water was given 
to the sick to drink. The head was also believed to give 
special sanctity to oaths taken in its presence. St Marnoch's 
church stood close to the Deveron, and, as the 'Aberdeen 
Breviary ' puts it, was secured and surrounded by that most 
beautiful river (pulcherrimo Duverne fluvio munita et vallata). 

St Ninian of Whithorn is represented in central Scotland 
in the Stirlingshire town and parish of St Ninian's, other- 
wise St Ringan's. From the *N. S. A.'* we learn that, 

* History of Buchan, p. 173. * O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 307. 
' Adamnan, Notes to Introduction, p. 225. 

* Kal., f.-v. '* Macallan." ' Stirlins^, p. 304. 


** long after the parish was called St Ninians, the village in 
the parish register is styled Kirktown ; and it is only since 
1724 that this name was entirely dropped/' A building, 
believed to have been a chapel, covers St Ninian's spring. 
It consists of two storeys, the lower being "a simple 
barrel-vaulted chamber, eleven feet by fourteen feet, the 
upper having been built by order of the Stirling Town 
Council, and formed into a house for the convenience of the 
town's washerwomen. A niche in the north-east wall has 
evidently been made to hold the image of the saint, while 
there has also been a piscina in the same wall. The flow 
of water is enormous, and enters the building from under 
the south-west gable, and, after passing through the little 
chamber, flows out at the east wall."^ 

Two Ayrshire parishes call for mention — viz., St Quivox 
and Colmonell. The former is sometimes mistakenly repre- 
sented as bearing the name of St Kevoca, a virgin who 
flourished circa 1000. Thus the writer in the ' N. S. A.' 
says : ** The name of the parish is now generally written St 
Quivox, but sometimes St Evox. At an earlier period it 
appears always to have been written St Kevoch. The name 
is supposed to be derived from * Sancta Kennocha Virgo in 
Coila,' who lived in the reign of Malcolm Second, and was 
distinguished for her zeal in promoting monastic institu- 
tions."' In reality the saint so named was an Irishman, 
and not a female saint at all. His name was Caemhog 
(pronounced Keevog), and he died at an advanced age about 
the middle of the seventh century. Regarding this curious 
change of sex Bishop Reeves remarks : " At March thirteenth 
they [the Scottish calendars] have a Sancta Kevoca, who 
was venerated as the patroness of Kyle. In Ireland she 
is at the same day known as Caemhog, more generally 
called with the familiar prefix Mo-Chaemhog. This saint's 
name is Latinised Pulcherius ; and he was founder and abbot 
of Liathmor, which, with the addition of his name, was 
afterwards called Leamokevoge. The history of his meta- 
physis is easily explained. The termination og is grammati- 

^ J. S. Fleming^s Old Nooks of Stirling, p. 112. ' Ayr, p. 118. 


cally feminine. The Gaelic-speaking Scots of the middle 
ages, not knowing the antecedents of St Caemhog, changed 
his gender, and the hagiologist accepted the name upon 
the terms." ^ 

Colmonell bears witness to another Irishman, St Colman 
Eala, whose name the Rev. J. B. Johnston interprets 
as Colum of the Eala, a stream in King's County.^ The 
'Martyrology of Donegal' has this entry regarding him: 
** Colman Eala, Abbat of Lann Elo, in Fir Ceall in West- 
meath. Columcille's sister was his mother — {.e.^ M6r, 
daughter of Feidhlimidh, son of Ferghus Cennfada, son of 
Conall Gulban, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. 
Fifty-two was his age when he resigned his spirit to heaven, 
A.D. 6io."^ He is called Columbanus^ in Adamnan's 
* Vita Columbae,' where we are told that Columba revealed 
to his monks in lona the danger in which Columbanus was 
placed when crossing the whirlpool of Conyvreckan. 

When St Mungo returned from Wales into Scotland about 
573, having been recalled thither by Rydderch Hael, the 
Christian King of Strathclyde, who had overcome his pagan 
foes at the battle of Arthuret on the Esk in that year, he 
remained for some time in what is now Dumfriesshire, 
at a place called by Joceline Hodelm, now Hoddam. St 
Mungo's, the next parish to Hoddam, bears his name. 
Before the Reformation it was called Abermelc, and later 
Castlemelc, from a fortress built by the Bruces on the Melc 
before the middle of the twelfth century. Its church was 
a mensal church of the Bishops of Glasgow, who are said 
to have had a residence in the parish near the remains of 
a g^den and fish-pond, which were visible at the end of 
the eighteenth century.^ St Mungo was the former name of 
Penicuik parish, Mid-Lothian, where St Mungo's Well, in 
the manse garden, is a reminder of the ancient dedication. 

Various etymologies have been given of Glasgow. After 

1 The Culdees, p. 39. 

* Scottish Place-Names, s.v. << Colmonell." > P. 261. 

* Adamoan also styles him *' Colmanus." For the different forms of 
his name vide Reeves's 'Adamnan,' p. 251. 

* Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 188. 


referring to some of these, Canon Isaac Taylor remarks: 
" The most probable is that given by Professor Rhys, who 
holds that the name is from one of the Gaelic pet-names 
of St Kentigern or St ' Mungo/ around whose cell the place 
grew up. The British name Kentigern would be pro- 
nounced Cunotigernos, in the first letters of which the Gaels 
discovered their own word for a hound. Hence they affec- 
tionately called him either Munchu, the ' dear dog/ which 
became Mungo, or Deschu, the ' southern hound/ or, from 
his white hair, Glaschu, the 'grey hound,' by which last 
name his cell came to be known." ^ The last word, how- 
ever, has probably not yet been said on the subject. 

The parish of Yester in East Lothian was anciently called 
St Bathans or St Bothans, after Baithene, a cousin of St 
Columba, who succeeded the latter as Abbot of lona in 
597, but died two years later, on the gth of June — the same 
day of the year as that on which St Columba passed away. 
The name was changed to Yester after the Reformation,* 
but St Bathans was also in use till about 1668. In 1421 Sir 
William Hay of Lbcherwart made the parish church 
collegiate for a provost, six prebendaries, and two singing 
boys; but after the Reformation it resumed its purely 
parochial character. The old church occupied a different 
site from the one built at Gifford in 1708. Its kirktown, 
like the church itself, bore the name of the patron saint, 
and was known as Bothans.^ 

St Abb's, otherwise Coldingham Shore, in Berwickshire, 
takes our thoughts back to the seventh century, when Ebba, 
daughter of King Ethelfrid of Northumbria and sister of 
St Oswald, sought retirement on the promontory known 
from her as St Abb's Head. She was abbess of a mon- 
astery at Coldingham,^ and was visited successively by St 
Cuthbert, and St Ethelreda afterwards of Ely. A priory 

^ Names and their Histories, p. 134. 

'^ Even before the Reformation the parish was sometimes called Yester, 
but commonly St Bathans. 

' Caledonia, vol. ii. pp. 513, 534, 535. 

* <*Colding>ham was a twin or double monastery — ».«., an establishment 
in which monks and nuns resided, apart, indeed, but under one head." — 
Smith's 'Diet, of Christ. Biog^raphy,' s.v. "Ebba." 


church was founded at Coldingham in 1098 by Edgar, son 
of Malcobn Canmore and Margaret, and dedicated to the 
Virgin along with St Ebba and St Cuthbert. The king 
granted the church to St Cuthbert's monks at Durham, 
some of whom were settled at Coldingham.^ Dalyell says : 
*' It is related that a certain damsel, severely distempered, 
having been carried to the shrine of St Ebba at Colding- 
ham, she recovered after beholding a white dove on the 
altar in a vision." * St Cuthbert ' himself lives in the name 
of an Edinburgh parish, still large, though not so large as 
in former times. In the twelfth century the parish was 
bestowed by David I. on his recently founded Abbey of 

Another Edinburgh parish — ^viz., that of St Giles's — ^also 
points back to an early saint. The saint in question died 
about the year 700. The details of his story vary, but 
the following outline occurs in the account given by 
Chambers : ** Giles or ^gidius is believed to have been a 
Greek who migrated to France. Settling in a hermitage, 
first in one of the deserts near the mouth of the Rhone, 
finally in a forest in the diocese of Nismes, he gave him- 
self to solitude and heavenly contemplation. There is a 
romantic story of his being partly indebted for his sub- 
sistence to a Heaven-directed hind, which came daily to 
give him its milk ; and it is added that his retirement was 
discovered by the king of the country, who, starting this 
animal in the chase, followed it till it took refuge at the 
feet of the holy anchorite. St Giles became, almost against 
his own will, the head of a little monastic establishment, 
which in time grew to be a regular Benedictine monastery, 
and was surrounded by a town taking its name from the 
saint."* During the reign of James II., William Preston 
of Gorton brought ft"om France an arm-bone of St Giles, 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p« 351* 

* Darker Superstitions of Scotland, p. 418. 

' An attempt, but not a successful one, is made by Dr Charles Rog'ers 
to derive Cupar-in-An^us from Cuthbert. Vide * Reg", of Cupar Abbey/ 
Pref., p. vi. 

* Lib. Cart. S. Crucis, p. 3. 

* Book of Days, vol. ii. p. 296 ; Appendix, C. 



which was placed for security in the saint's Edinburgh 
church. In 1556 the Dean of Guild spent I2d. in mending 
and polishing the relic. The saint's image was also much 
esteemed. Its fate is thus described by Sir Daniel Wilson : 
** It was the custom for the clergy of Edinburgh to walk 
annually in grand procession, on the first of September, 
the anniversary of St Giles, the patron saint of the town ; 
but in the year 1558, before the arrival of St Giles's day, 
the mob contrived to get into the church, and, carrying 
off the image of the saint, they threw it into the North 
Loch, and thereafter committ^ it to the flames."^ The 
church of St Giles was made collegiate in 1466, but did 
not attain to an episcopal status till after the Reformation, 
when the short-lived bishopric of Edinburgh was created 
in 1633. 

When Cuthbert entered the monastery at Old Melrose, 
Boisil was its prior, and from him, as Bede tells us, he 
received " both the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and 
example of good works." When Boisil died of the plague 
in the year 664, Cuthbert succeeded him as prior. The 
appreciation of Boisil by Cuthbert is thus expressed in a 
"Metrical Life" of the latter, written in the thirteenth 
century : — 

" In haly eland kirke he knew 
Haly men and wyse y new 

That couthe him monkes lare [doctrine] lere [teach] 
Bot him thoght better and mare [more] dere [dear] 
For to leue in Maylros 
For the grete name and gude loos [fame] 
Of boisil that haly man 
That passand monk was halden than." * 

In an inventory of relics at Durham in 1383 mention is 
made of the " Comb of St Boysil." » We find his name 
surviving in St Boswells in Roxburghshire, where an 
annual fair is still held on the i8th of July, on a piece of 

^ Memorials of Old Edinburgh, p. 60. 
'** Metrical Life of St Cuthbert, p. 40. 
' The Antiquary (Oct 1896), p. 315. 


ground known as St Boswell's Green. Hogg, the Ettrick 
Shepherd, received an invitation from Sir Walter Scott 
to accompany him to the coronation of George IV. Hogg 
wrote declining the offer, after a good deal of hesitation. 
Sir Walter says : " He stood balancing the matter whether 
to go to the coronation or the fair of St Boswells, and the 
fair carried it." * 

' Scott's Familiar Letters, vol. ii. p. 121. 



Seeking retirement — Desertum and Dysart — Ascetic life in Egypt — Traces 
in Ireland and Scotland — Disert^na-nespcHc — Deserts and monasteries — 
St Fergnous — St Becan — Dirert-Chiamin — lona topography — Larger 
liberty — Hermit of Cape Malea — Influence of the sea — Voyages of 
Celtic missionaries — Desert in the sea — St Baitan — St Cormack — St 
Brandon — Culhrandon — Traces of Desertum in South and North 
Britain — St Congan — St Serfs Cave — Caves and recluses — St 
David's Cave at Weem — Other examples — Pittenweem — Hermits — 
Hermetiscroft — Hermitage Castle — St Anthony's Chapel and Hermitage 
— Elian- Vow. 

Withdrawal to solitary places for purposes of devotion 
was a characteristic of our early Scottish saints. They 
sought a home in some inland glen, in some cave within 
hearing of the sea, or on some wind-swept island where 
they could meditate without distraction on higher things. 
Such a retreat was known by the Latin name desertum. 
In the Celtic vernacular this name was transformed into 
Dysart, with varying spellings. Regarding the word, Dr 
Joyce remarks: **It is generally used in an ecclesiastical 
sense to denote a hermitage, such secluded spots as the 
early Irish saints loved to select for their little dwellings ; 
and it was afterwards applied to churches erected in those 
places. Its most usual modern forms are Desert, Disert, 
Dysart, and Dysert."^ 

Who were the pioneers of the anchoritic life in the 
early Church ? To answer this question we have to look 
to Egypt, where, in the latter half of the third century, 
Paul the Hermit, and Anthony, the friend of Athanasius, 

^ Irish Place-Names, p. 113. 


sought to teach by example the advantages of withdrawing 
from the world. Paul made a cavern his home beneath 
the shade of a palm-tree, which furnished him with food 
and clothing. Anthony sold his possessions when twenty 
years of age, and retired into the desert. At thirty-five he 
crossed the Nile, and retreated into still more remote soli- 
tudes. There he spent twenty years in a ruined castle, 
where he was visited by multitudes of disciples, anxious, 
like himself, to lead an ascetic life.^ ''The struggles of 
these athletes of penitence," to use Montalembert's phrase, 
produced a marvellous eff"ect on the dwellers in the Nile 
valley, and within a short time a life of solitude came to 
be eagerly sought after. Rumours regarding its advantages 
began to spread westwards, and before long a custom that 
had taken root in Africa was transplanted to Europe. We 
find unmistakable traces of it in Ireland at a comparatively 
early date, and in Scotland somewhat later. Life in a 
desert, in the technical sense of the term, was not 
necessarily an utterly lonely life. The solitude was to be 
in the heart of the hermit if not in his environment, though 
it was usually there also. When St Bridget wished to pro- 
cure a bishop for her monastery at Kildare she sent for a 
holy man — Condlaed by name — who left his desert to fulfil 
her behest. Several bishops in Ireland frequently had a 
retreat in common, as the name Disert-na-nespoic — i.e., 
the Desert of the Bishops — indicates. -Singus the Culdee 
refers to 141 places in Ireland, each of them tenanted by 
seven bishops.^ 

Deserts were often connected with monasteries, and af- 
forded the more devotional of their inmates a quiet place 
for meditation. At Derry, in Ireland, a desert was attached 
to the monastery. At Kells there was a retreat for wander- 
ing pilgrims known as Disert-Columcille, Kells having been 
one of St Columba's foundations.' As Bishop Reeves 
remarks, "Those who desired to follow a more ascetic 
life than that which the society afforded to its ordinary 
members, withdrew to a solitary place in the neighbourhood 
of the monastery, where they enjoyed undisturbed medita- 

^ Montalembert's Monks of the West, pp. 303-306. 

' Todd's St Patrick, pp. 12, 32, 35. ' Adamnan, Pref., p. cxxv. 


tion without breaking the fraternal bond."^ The desert 
was thus affiliated to the monastery. In Egypt the anchor- 
itic life developed into the cenobitic ; and it is interesting 
to note this tendency in the Celtic monasteries towards a 
return to the original form. St Fergnous, who was in 
Ireland when St Columba died, retired to £ilean-na-naoimh, 
where he spent the rest of his life, partly under conventual 
rule and partly as a solitary in a hermitage. St Becan, 
who died about 677, left Ireland, his native land, for lona, 
and there spent several years as a hermit, while Segenius, 
his uncle, was abbot of the monastery.' Cumine the Fair^ 
a later abbot and one of the biographers of Columba, was 
the founder of a church in Ireland in the west of Leinster, 
named after him Disert-Chiamin.* The topography of 
lona bears witness to the existence of a desert there. Thus 
we find, in the low ground at some distance to the north- 
east of the cathedral, Cladhan-diseart — i.e., the Graveyard 
of the Desert ; and to the south-east of the graveyard the 
small bay known as Port-an-diseart.* There seems to have 
been an official appointed to attend to this desert, for in 
the year 1164 we hear of MacGilladufF being president of 
the desert.^ In the ' Annals of Ulster * he is called " Dis- 
ertach." Another name for him was " Cennan Disirt " — 
i.e., Superior of the Hermitage. Towards the north of 
lona are the traces of a circular building called Cabhan 
Culdich, signifying **the retreat of the Culdees."* In 1795 
it was described as ''the foundation of a small circular 
house upon a reclining plain. From the door of the house 
a walk ascends to a small hillock, with the remains of a 
wall upon each side of the walk, which grows wider to the 
hillock. There are evident traces of the walls of the walk 
taking a circuit round, and enclosing the hillock."^ Dr 
Reeves says: "The foundation is not quite circular, but 
measures about 16 feet by 14."® 

The more daring spirits among the early saints were not 
content with a place of retirement near a monastery. They 

^ Adamnan, Intro., p. cxxiv. ' Kal., p. 277. 

• Ibid., p. 316. * Adamnan, p. ij6. 

■ Hadden and Stubbs, vol. ii., Part I., p. 235. * O. P. S., vol. it. p. 303. 

7 O. S. A, vol. xiv. p. 200. ^ Adamnan, p. 139. 


went farther afield ; but it is not to be inferred that they did 
this for the sake of gaining a reputation for greater sanctity, 
though, as a matter of fact, such was often the effect. We 
have rather to look for an explanation in a desire for contact 
with new scenes and in a craving for a larger liberty than 
could be enjoyed under monastic rule. In our own days 
one sees what a regard is sometimes had for those who 
withdraw from the midst of men. The late Dean Church 
mentions the case of the hermit of Cape Malea, who in 
modern times was held in much reverence by the Greek 
sailors voyaging past his cell.^ Even more in ancient 
times must special sanctity have attached to those who, 
for the sake of devotion, turned their steps into the lonely 
fastnesses of nature. 

The sea, with its changes and mystery, appealed to the 
imagination of the Celt more than to that of the Norseman, 
who regarded it rather from a practical point of view. 
Many a hide-covered currach was launched on its waters, 
freighted with men anxious to find what lay in the beyond. 
In the early centuries of Christianity in Scotland the dis- 
covery of what was known as ^' a desert in the sea " was an 
object of ambition. Thus we find Adamnan, in his ' Vita 
Sancti Columbae,' alluding to the voyage of a certain man 
called Baitan, who with others went in search of " a desert 
in the sea" (in oceano descrtum). Before setting out he 
asked St Columba for his blessing. The latter prophesied 
that Baitan would not be buried in the desert in the ocean 
whither he was bound, but in a place where a woman would 
drive sheep over his grave, a forecast said to have been 
verified. About the same time St Cormack, Abbot of 
Durrow, sought a retreat in the ocean. So devoted was he 
to the quest that he became known as "Cormac Leir" — 
f.^., Cormac of the Sea. Thnce he sailed in search of a 
desert, and thrice he failed to find one. The cause of his 
failure is not quite evident. Probably he did not feel in- 
clined to settle down, even after he found a suitable spot. 
Adamnan gives, as the reason why he did not succeed in his 
second attempt, the fact that he had taken with him as a 

^ Church's Life and Letters, p. 76. 


companion one under monastic rule without the sanction 
of his superior; but we have probably to look elsewhere 
for the real reason. There is no doubt that Cormack had a 
considerable choice of retreats, for he found his way to 
Orkney and must have sighted many of the Western Isles.^ 
None of the saints devoted to a seafaring life was so famous 
as St Brandan or Brendan, founder of the monastery of 
Clonfert in Galway. He is said to have voyaged for seven 
years in search of the land of promise of the saints. Dr 
Skene observes : " The narrative of his seven years' voyage 
became one of the most popular tales of the Middle Ages, 
and numerous editions exist of it."* What has been 
picturesquely styled " the Christian Odyssey " by the Rev. 
Dr J. K. Hewison is full of fable ; but there is no doubt that 
its hero visited many an island in the Hebridean seas. The 
saint died in 577. The sea-foam must have acted on him 
as a tonic, for he had then reached the advanced age of 
ninety -five. St Brandan may have had more than one 
desert in the sea, but Culbrandon, an island in the Garve- 
loch group, tells us that he had there found a retreat for a 
shorter or longer time, the name signifying '* the corner or 
retreat of St Brandon," from Gaelic cuil, comer or recess. 
Culbrandon, along with the neighbouring Eileann na 
Naoimh, was granted in 1630 by Andrew, Bishop of Raphoe 
and Prior of Oransay, to John Campbell, rector of Craig- 
ness.' To certain of these deserts in the ocean Dr James 
Mackinnon's remark is applicable. "The heaps of loose 
stones on such remote islands as North Rona in the North 
Atlantic, far out of reach of human dwelling, which, when 
examined, were found to be the remains of some hermit 
cell, ' presenting the earliest type of Christian construction 
remaining in Scotland,' still testify to the mistaken but 
adamantine piety that braved the tempests of the open 
ocean and courted the isolation of some wild inhospitable 

Let us turn now to the mainland of Britain to discover 
what traces of the Latin desertum are to be found in its 
topography. In South Britain Chalmers enumerates the 

' Adamnan, pp. 11, 252, 71. * Celt. Scot., voL ii. p. 76. 

' O. P S., vol. ii. p. 279. * Culture in Early Scotland, p. 164. 


following: ^'Dysart Church in Radnor, Dyserth Castle in 
Flint, Dyserth in Montgomery, Dysart in Brecknock, and 
Dysard in Cornwall."* There seems to have been at one 
time no lack of retreats in Wales, if we may judge from a 
passage in the life of St Cadoc in Rees's ' Cambro- British 
Saints,'* where we read that "Saint Cadoc, hearing that 
there were many places which were solitary and suitable for 
hermits, visited them, that he might see, and in them he 
remained a short space of time, but left them after the 
departure of two of his clergy." 

North Britain has also its traces of the desertum. In 
the * Breviary of Aberdeen * St Mund is described as 
" Abbot of Kilmund and Dissert " ; but the latter cannot 
now be identified.* There are others we can be sure about. 
One may note that all these occur in the middle region 
of Scotland — viz., in the counties of Perth, Forfar, 
Argyll, and Fife. In the ' Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum 
Scotorum'* is a Latin charter of date 1611 mentioning 
the lands of Disert near Pitlochry forming part of the 
barony of Faschailyie, now Faskally. To this Heron, 
writing at the end of the eighteenth century, thus refers : 
" The fine situation of one gentleman's house on the north- 
eastern bank of the Tummel struck me particularly. Its 
name I learned to be Dysart, and that its proprietor was 
a Mr Butter. This house stands close upon the bank 
of the river, in a situation where the windings of the hills 
leave a small circular plain, beautifully level and verdant. 
Through this plain the river meanders in a fine waving 
line. Mr B.'s house stands on the eastern division of 
this little plain. It is surrounded on all hands with thick 
wood. Indeed I could not help thinking that the pines 
which concealed it from the highway were too thick, and 
seemed to hide this sweet spot with a degree of invidious 
jealousy from the gaze of the traveller." ^ Heron apparently 
did not inquire into the origin of the name. In 1639 ^^ 
read of a Dysart lying in the barony of Forgund (Long- 
forgan). Another Perthshire example is referred to in a 
charter of 21st October 1685, in which John Halden 

^ Caledonia, vol. i. p. 53. ' P. 361. * KaL, p. 416. 

* R. M. S., 1546-80, p. 589. ^ Journey, vol. i. p. 221. 


of Gleneagles, heir-male of Kentigern Halden of Glen- 
eagles, is retoured in various lands within the shire of 
Perth, including a portion of the barony of Dysart, de- 
scribed as *' the half of the villa and lands of Winchelstoun, 
Strathore, and Blair, with the half of the lands called 
Souttarlands in Easter Straithore." ^ In Forfarshire there 
is Dysart, once a parish, but annexed first to Brechin 
and then to Maryton. The latter annexation occurred 
in 1649. The Barony of Dysart was composed of the 
lands of Meikle Dysert and Little Dysert. These lands 
were erected into a free barony in 1509-10 by James IV. 
in favour of John Melville and his heirs.* Jervise says: 
** Though the very site of the old place of worship at 
Dysart is now unknown, the church of Dyserth is mentioned 
in an early charter of Malcolm the Maiden. Along with 
its teinds and the lands of Little Dysart, the kirk belonged 
to the Priory of Rostinoth. Down to about the last half 
of the seventeenth century, when Over and Nether Dysart 
were 'annexed to the kirk of Mariton,' the inhabitants 
of Dysart, although about eight miles distant, were bound 
to communicate at *the kirk of Brechin,' *quhilk (it is 
added) was thair paroche kirk.' This arrangement had 
probably arisen from the fact that the lands of Dysart 
were held under the superiority of, and belonged to, the 
Cathedral of Brechin. On the abolition of Papacy, the 
teinds of Over and Nether Dysart were given by the king 
to assist in educating poor deserving youths who chose 
the Church as a profession."' 

Nothing is known regarding the hermits who found a 
retreat in the places just mentioned, but in the case of 
Dalmally, anciently called "Dysart or Clachandysert," 
it is otherwise ; for we have reason to believe that St Congan, 
brother of St Kentigern and uncle of St Fillan, settled there, 
probably for a considerable time. The district round the 
lower waters of Loch Awe, forming the united parishes of 
Glenorchy and Inishail where Dalmally is situated, had 
him as its patron saint. A spring near the village was 
dedicated to him, and long enjoyed a reputation for healing. 

^ Retour (940), Perth. ^ R. M. S., 1424-151 j, p. 732. 

' Epitaphs and Inscriptions, vol. i. p. 237. 


A writer in ' The Highland Monthly ' ^ mentions the follow- 
ing fact : " During the latter part of the last [i.e.y the 
eighteenth] century an old man lived in a small cottage 
close to the spring, subsisting chiefly on the small gratuities 
given him by charitable passers-by to whom he offered a 
drink of the water. He lived alone, and at a very advanced 
age was found dead in his hut, which he had decorated 
with fragments of cofiins procured from the neighbouring 
churchyard." This old man had his desertum in modem 
times, as St Congan had in ancient times. It is interesting 
to note that Dalmally is still called by the Highlanders 
" Clachan-an-diseart." One of the annual fairs of the parish 
was associated with St Congan. 

Perhaps the best known survival of desertum is to be 
found in the name of the parish and burgh of D)rsart on the 
south coast of Fife. The desertum there was the retreat of 
St Serf, a cave still j)ointed out in Dysart House grounds, 
where, according to tradition, the saint had a discussion 
with the devil on certain points of theology. It is in 
reference to this discussion that Andrew of Wyntoun thus 
writes : — 

'' Quhill Saynt Serffe in till a stede 
Lay efftyre Maytynis in hys bede, 
The Devill come, in full intent, 
For till fand hym wyth argument, 
And sayd, * Saynt Serif, be thi werk 
I ken thou art a connand clerk.' 
Saynt Serif sayd, * Gyve I swa be, 
Foule wreche, quhat is that for th^ ? * " 

The devil failed to have the last word in the discussion. 

" Saynct ScrfF sayd, * Thow wrech ga 
Fra this stede, and noy na ma 
In to this stede, I byd th6J 
Suddanly theyne passyd he ; 
Fra that stede he held hym away. 
And nevyr wes sene thare till this day." * 

A little below the cave is the ancient church of St Serf, 
consecrated in 1245. Its ruins consist of the south-west 
tower, west gable, south-west porch, part of the south aisle, 

1 Nov. 1890, p. 363. ' Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 41. 


and several scattered piers.^ In 1250 Dysart appeared as 
"Dishard," and as "Deserta" in George Buchanan, 
circa 1530.* 

The connection of St Serf with the cave at Dysart is 
but one out of many examples of the use of caves by early 
recluses. Many of these caves still bear the names of their 
ancient occupants. Most of them are to be found along 
our coasts, usually within sight of the sea ; but some are quite 
inland. At Weem in Perthshire is (or rather was, for the 
greater part of it has fallen down) a cave associated with 
St David Menzies, a local laird who became a recluse. The 
parish indeed derived its name from this cave, a cave in 
Gaelic being uaimh, in Middle Irish uaim.^ St David is 
said to have had a chapel on a neighbouring shelf of rock, 
called in consequence Craig-an-t'shapail, or the Chapel Rock. 
At the cave is a spring, till lately, and probably even yet, fre- 
quented as a wishing-well. St David's father was Sir Robert 
Menzies, slain at the battle of Harlaw in 1411. He himself 
was born in 1377, and is said to have been one of the 
hostages for the release of James I. He entered the Church, 
and was for several years Master of St Leonard's Hospital at 
Lanark. He was afterwards a monk in Melrose Abbey, and 
died in 1449.^ Cill Daidh is an old burying-ground in Weem 
parish. The fair known as Feil Daidh was held in the 
same parish till transferred to Kenmore.* These are con- 
nected by Mr D. P. Menzies with St David Menzies, but 
they probably commemorate St David of Wales.* It is 
significant that Feil Daidh was held in March, the 
Welsh saint's festival falling on the first of that month. 

There is a cave named after St Fergus in Glamis parish, 
Forfarshire, where that saint ended a wandering life, 
probably about the middle of the eighth century.^ The 

^ J. R. Walker's Pre-Reformation Churches in Fifeshire. 

' Scottish Places-Names, p. 116. 

' Macbain*s Gaelic Dictionary, s,v. *• Uaimh.*' 

* D. P. Menzies, Red and White Book of Menzies, pp. 100-ZI4. 

* N. S. A., Perth, p. 709. 

* ''About a mile from Finlarig, close to Loch Tay, is another ancient 
burying^-ground, Clath-Math-Davee, believed to recall St David of Wales." 
—Campbell's * Book of Garth and Fortingall,' p. 69. 

^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 232. 


church of Glamis was dedicated to St Fergus, and, according 
to Jervise, is said to have been cruciform in shape. The 
only part remaining is the south transept, which is in the 
Second Pointed style of architecture.^ A spring "in a 
romantic spot on the west side of the burn of Glamis, to 
the north-east of the church," still bears the saint's name. 
Nearly a century after St Fergus, St Gervadius flourished 
in the province of Moray. Under the form of Gerardine 
his name was connected with a cave in Drainie parish, 
thus described in the N. S. A.: * " Gerardin's cave, in Elgin 
charters denominated Holyman Head, probably the abode 
of a hermit, was about five feet square. It was ornamented 
with a Gothic door and window, and commanded a long 
but solitary prospect of the eastern coast. The Gothic 
window and door were demolished about sixty years ago 
by a drunken sailor, and the whole cave has since been 
scooped out by quarriers." Gervadius extended his influence 
to the Buchan district, for he had an oratory and a stone 
bed at Kenedor, now King Edward.^ Margaret, queen and 
saint, in connection with her frequent devotions, found 
retirement at Dunfermline in a cave still bearing her name. 
"This cave," observes Chalmers in his 'History of 
Dunfermline,** "is situated at a short distance north from 
the Tower Hill, and from the mound crossing the ravine 
on which part of the town stands. It consists of an open 
apartment in the solid rock, 6 feet 9 inches in height, 8 feet 
6 inches in width, and 11 feet 9 inches in depth — i.e., from 
the mouth to the back or longest side, while on the shortest 
side it is only 8 feet 3 inches." Tradition says that about 
the year 1700 a stone table or bench was visible, having on it 
something like a crucifix ; but when the rubbish was removed 
from the cave in 1877 two stone benches without sculpturing 
of any kind were brought to light.* 

Of a different character is the cave-chapel at Cove on 
Ixych Caolisport in South Knapdale, said by tradition to 
have been St Columba's first church in Scotland before he 
settled in lona. In the interior is an altar cut in the rock, 

^ Antiquities of Glamis, p. 5. 

» Elgin, p. 149. » Kal., p. 354- * P- 88. 

' Henderson's Annab of Dunfermline, p. 19, and Appendix, p. 715. 


together with a font ; while above the altar is a cross '* cut 
on the solid rock by no unmasterly hand." ^ On the coast 
of Ardnamurchan is another cave associated with St 
Columba. Tradition says that the saint found a company 
of freebooters within its recesses. He preached to them 
and persuaded them to be baptised, the water being supplied 
from a natural basin within the cave, which was filled by 
a drip from the roof. In later times the cave was resorted 
to by health-seekers who left an ofifering beside the basin .^ 

Another Argyllshire retreat is St Kieran's Cave, on the 
east coast of Kintyre, some three or four miles from 
Campbeltown. After alluding to Kilchiaran on the south 
side of Campbeltown Loch, Muir observes : " Close by the 
shore, two or three miles fiairther away, and only reachable 
at ebb, is a more steadfast memorial of Kintyre's primitive 
apostle — ^to wit, a deep cave in the £aLce of a steep hill, 
called Ciaran's Cove, in which, according to local telling, 
the saint housed himself for a time after his arrival from 
Innisfail. The missionary's first look of his dwelling must 
have been not very comforting, though it is hard to say 
whether one in any way much more refined could have been 
found along the whole length of the peninsula in the sixth 
century. At its mouth the cave is of considerable width, 
but towards its upper extremity straitens to a mere crevice 
or rent."' Pennant, who visited the spot in 1772, says 
of the cave: It is "in form of a cross, with three fine 
Gothic porticoes for entrances ; . • . had formerly a wall 
at the entrance, a second about the middle, and a third fax 
up, forming different apartments. On the floor is the capital 
of a cross and a round basin cut out of the rock, frill of fine 
water, the beverage of the saint in old times, and of sailors 
in the present, who often land to dress their victuals beneath 
this shelter."^ The saint in question was an Irishman, a 
pupil of St Finnan of Clonard, and the founder of the Abbey 
of Clonmacnoise. He died in the year 548 at the age of 
thirty-three. His austerities were such that, according to 
' The Book of Lismore,' ^ " he never ate bread until a third 

' N. S. A., Argyll, p. 263. 

^ Folk-Lore and Legends, Scotland, p. 84. 

' Eccles. Notes, p. 265. * Tour, p. 195, » P. 279. 


of it was sand. He never slept until his side touched the 
bare mould. Under his head there was usually nought save 
a stone for a pillow." Some clay from his grave is said to 
have been thrown by St Columba into the whirlpool of 
Corryvreckan to allay the violence of the sea, the result 
being entirely satisfactory. Kieran's name appears under 
various forms — cg.f Queranus, Kyranus, Ciaran, Querdon, 
and Jergon. In Cornwall he is known as St Piran.^ 

Guarding Lamlash Bay, where Haco's shattered ships 
sought refuge after the battle of Largs in 1263, lies Holy 
Island, known to the Norsemen as Melansay. In the cliff 
on the west coast of the island is St Molios* Cave, some 
twenty-five or thirty feet above the present level of the 
beach. Here the saint, who was of Irish origin, is believed 
to have led the life of a hermit prior to visiting Rome about 
the year 630. In the cave is a shelf of rock known as his 
** Bed " ; while below, on the shore, " a large block of sand- 
stone, cut perfectly flat on the top, and surrounded with a 
series of artificial recesses or seats, bears the name of the 
Saint's Chair."* The cave is of special interest to arch- 
^ologists on account of its Runic inscriptions, alluded to 
by Sir Daniel Wilson in his * Prehistoric Annals of Scot- 
land.' An Arran tradition points to the graveyard of 
Shiskin as the place of sepulture of St Molios. Near its 
centre lay till lately a stone with the sculptured image of 
an ecclesiastic having a chalice in his hand and a pastoral 
staff by his side, the figure being locally believed to repre- 
sent St Molios.' Professor Mackinnon mentions that Holy 
Island "was of old Eilean Moldisi, a name preserved in a 
very disguised form in Lamlash. Fordun gives Almesldche, 
which suggests the intermediate steps: Eilean Moldisi, 
Elmoldisi, Lemoldsh, Lamlash, now transferred from the 
island to the favourite watering village ashore."* 

St Medan's Cave in Wigtownshire is situated in Kirk- 
xnaiden parish on the western shore of Luce Bay, half-way 
between Portankill and Tarbet. A chapel, now greatly 
ruinous, was built on to the cave. Sir Herbert E. Maxwell 

' Kal., p. 435. ^ Wilson's Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 278. 
' M< Arthur's Antiquities of Arran, p. 188. 
^ Scotsooan, Article No. ix. 


regards this chapel ''as by very much the earliest piece 
of ecclesiastical architecture remaining in Galloway," and 
thinks that "the origin of the sacred regard for St Medan's 
cave must be taken as coeval with that of St Ninian, 
namely, from the early years of the fifth century."* Dr 
Skene identifies Medan with St Monenna, otherwise Edana, 
said to have founded churches at Edinburgh, Stirling, and 
Lx>ngforgan, as well as in Galloway.* There is, however, 
some uncertainty as to her date. One version of her story 
places her death in 519. According to the ' Aberdeen 
Breviary,' she left her home in Ireland to escape firom the 
attentions of a certain noble knight. Accompanied by two 
handmaidens, she crossed to the Rhinns of Galloway, but 
the knight followed her. When she saw him she sought 
refuge along with her maidens on a rock in the sea. The 
rock became a boat, and miraculously conveyed her over 
the water to Fames, now part of Glasserton parish. The 
knight once more appeared. This time St Medan sought 
refuge amid the branches of a tree, and fi'om their shelter 
asked her lover what it was that made him follow her so 
persistently. "Your face and eyes," replied the knight. 
Thereupon the saint plucked out her eyes, and threw them 
down to her lover, who was so filled with grief and penitence 
that he at once departed.' The parish church of Burton- 
on-Trent in Staffordshire was under the patronage of St 
Mary and St Modwena. Camden says the Trent almost 
surrounds " Burton, a town famous for an antient mon- 
astery founded by Ulfric Spot, earl of Mercia, and once 
remarkable for the retreat of Modwena, or Mowenna, an 
Irishwoman. In this monastery Modwena, whose sanctity 
was renowned in these parts, was buried, with these lines 
on her tomb by way of epitaph." Camden gives the lines, 
which are in Latin ; but the following translation is added : — 

" Ireland gave Mod wen birth, England a grave, 
As Scotland death, and God her soul shall save, 

^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. XX. p. 89. ' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 37. 

> Vide "Notice of the Excavation of St Medan's Cave and Chapel," by 
Dr R. Trotter, with Notes by Sir H. E. Maxwell, Bart., in • P. S. A. Scot.,* 
vol. XX. pp. 76-90; and Rev. Adam Philip's * Parish of Longforgan,' pp. 


The first land life, the second death did give, 
The third in earth her earthly part receive ; 
Lanfortin takes whom ConneKs country owns, 
And happy Burton holds the virgin's bones." ^ 

An ancient ecclesiastical site at Burton is still known as 
St Modwena's garden. 

Another noted Galloway retreat is the cave in Glasserton 
parish connected from of old with the name of St Ninian. 
Physgill Glen is one of the most attractive spots in the 
neighbourhood of Whithorn. In late spring it is bright 
with gorse, and tuneful with birds. One can picture the 
figure of the saint going and coming between his Candida 
Casa at Whithorn and his cave on the shore about a furlong 
from the foot of the glen. The cave is in the face of the 
cliff, with a southern exposure. It is about 27 feet long, 
6 broad, and 15 or so high. At present it is some 25 feet 
above high-water mark, but in a bygone geological age the 
sea must have dashed into it. In 1884 the cave was ex- 
amined with much care under the supervision of Sir Herbert 
E. Maxwell and the late Dr Cochran-Patrick. A large 
quantity of rubbish was removed, and several stones with 
incised crosses were brought to light, together with a hol- 
low font-like stone having a carefully constructed drain to 
carry off the surplus water. A pavement, too, was dis- 
covered strewn with wood, ashes, bones, and shells, while 
a mutilated inscription with its " Sanct Ni " told of a 
name held in reverence from the Solway Firth to the Isles 
of Shetland.* 

St Baldred, the apostle of East Lothian, flourished in 
the latter half of the sixth century and the beginning of 
the seventh. He was so much venerated that after his 
death the churches of Aldham, Prestonkirk, and Tyning- 
hame sought each to possess his relics. According to 
Bellenden and Major, his body was miraculously triplicated 
to satisfy the different claimants. A cleft in the rock at 
Whitberry Point, a little way north of the mouth of the 
Tyne, is styled St Baldred's Cradle. At its entrance 
towards the sea it is about a couple of yards wide, while 

^ Britannia, vol. ii. p. 497. * P. S. A. Scot., voL xix. pp. 82-96. 



on either side the rock rises to a height of thirteen or 
fourteen feet. In stormy weather, when the tide is high, 
the sea bursts in with terrific force. A local tradition, 
referred to by Chalmers, says that the "Cradle" was 
rocked by the winds and the waves.^ There is nothing 
about the cleft to show that it was once the retreat of an 
anchorite ; but the name is interesting, and is doubtless 
very old.* 

Near the " Pilgrim's Haven " in the Isle of May, and 
just below the garden- wall of the priory, is a small damp 
cave, known as the " Lady's Bed." As Mr Muir points 
out, it is traditionally associated with St Thenew, 
Kentigern's mother, who, according to the legend, "after 
being cast into the sea at Aberlady, was miraculously 
floated to the May, and thence in the same manner to 
Culross, where she was stranded and gave birth to the 
saint."* On the same island are still to be seen the ruins 
of the thirteenth century chapel, dedicated to St Adrian, 
a shrine popular in the Middle Ages as a place of pilgrimage. 
Adrian is said, in the 'Aberdeen Breviary,' to have been 
born in the province of Pannonia in Hungary, and to have 
come to the east of Scotland along with more than six 
thousand companions, including St Monan, who had a 
cave bearing his name at Inverry, now St Monans. They 
settled on the Isle of May, having expelled the demons 
and wild beasts infesting it, but were there martyred by 
the Danes. 875 is commonly assigned as the date of their 
martyrdom. Dr Skene has critically examined the story. 
St Adrian, he thinks, was an Irishman, not a Hungarian. 
Of Adrian and his followers he says: "They came just 
at the time when the so-called destruction of the Picts 
by Kenneth MacAlpin took place; and they themselves 
perished by the Danes in the reign of his son Constantin. 
Of so remarkable an event, however, as the invasion of 
Fife by a body of six thousand and six Hungarians, history 
knows nothing."* St Adrian was associated with a cave 
on the coast of Fife, opposite the Isle of May. Wyntoun 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 542, note. ' P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxviii. pp. 78-83. 

' Eccles. Notes, p. 294. * Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 313. 


says, after referring to the arrival of this saint and his 

company : — 

" Than Adriane wyth hys cumpany 
Togydder come tyl Caplawchy. 
Thare sum in to the He off May 
Chesyd to byde to thare enday. 
And sum off thame chesyd be northe 
In steddis sere the Wattyr off Forth." * 

Dr Joseph Anderson observes : " Caplachie is now Caiplie, 
in the parish of Kilrenny ; and one of the caves of Caiplie, 
which has sculptures on its walls, is still known as the 
Chapel Cove. The cave is on Barnsmuir farm."* A full 
description of the crosses on its walls is given by Dr 
Stuart, in his ' Sculptured Stones of Scotland.' * 

At Pittenween, underneath the ruined Priory, is a cave 
traditionally associated with St Adrian and St Fillan, but 
specially with the latter. The name Pittenweem, written 
PiUne-weme in a charter of King David I., is significant, 
for it means "the place of the cave," and shows that the 
cave in question was in ancient times regarded as a specially 
noteworthy feature in the district. A lane in the burgh 
near the priory is known as the Cove Wynd. The following 
account of the cave occurs in " Notes on the Structural 
Remains of the Priory of Pittenweem," by Mr W. F. Lyon, 
Architect:* "The cave, situated about sixty feet from the 
shore, the floor level being about sixteen feet above high 
tides, is hollowed out of a soft sandstone rock, which rises 
to a height of forty feet, and differs, at least in its original 
position, in no way from the many sea-washed caverns 
which are found all along this coast. Advantage has been 
taken of the soft nature of the rock to artificially enlarge 
the chambers at different periods. 

" The entrance is closed up by a well-built stone wall, with 
a doorway of dressed stones and a window over it, all 
apparently of late work. Much of the sides and roof close 
to this wall have fallen in. 

1 Oiygynale Cronykil of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 85. 

* Scotland in Early Christian Times, Second Series, p. 186. 

* Vol. ii., Pref., pp. Ixxxviii-xc. * P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxvii. p. 79, 


" The inside of the cave, at a distance of thirty-five feet 
from the entrance, is divided into an inner and outer 
chamber by another stone-built wall with a doorway. The 
outer chamber has been much increased in height and 
width by artificial means, and is spacious and lofty. The 
inner apartment bifurcates into two portions, the one right 
in firont being evidently the original continuation of the 
outer cave, which runs on and dies naturally into the 
ground at about sixty-three feet from the intercepting wall, 
making the whole original cave about one hundred feet in 
length." Thirty feet above the cave, and communicating 
with it by a stair cut in the solid rock, is a vaulted chamber 
fifteen feet square, styled the Oratory of St Fillan. Its 
roof is three or four feet below the level of the garden 
above. The building, however, as Mr Lyon points out, 
is manifestly many centuries later in date than the time 
of the saint. 

Visitors to St Andrews can hardly fail to be impressed by 
the Tower of St Regulus or Rule near the Cathedral, where 
beside the sea it has continued through the blasts of cent- 
uries to lift its lofty head. A less striking object associated 
with the name of the same saint is St Rule's Cave, in the 
face of the cliff underneath the Martyrs' Knowe. This cave, 

" Where good Saint Rule his holy lay, 

From midnight to the dawn of day, 

Sung to the billows' sound," 

was originally double, the outer apartment being circular 
with a diameter of about ten feet. On the eastern side an 
altar was cut in the solid rock, and opposite was the door 
leading into the inner apartment, — the **dto," as Sir Walter 
Scott styles it in a note to the lines just quoted, " where the 
miserable ascetic, who inhabited this dwelling, probably 
slept." Dr D. Hay Fleming remarks : " St Rule's Cave 
can still be reached from below by a narrow ledge; but 
owing to the wasting away of the soft sandstone rock, it is 
now so openly exposed to view that it can be seen very well 
firom the kitchen tower of the Castle." ^ At Kinkell, to the 
south of St Andrews, is a small cave with crosses on its 

^ Guide to St Andrews. 


walls; but the retreat is associated with the name of no 
particular saint. 

Regarding another rock-shelter in Fife, Dr John Stuart 
remarks : " At Fifeness, a promontory which has been forti- 
fied by a strong wall called the Danes* Dyke carried across 
its neck, is a cave formed in a rock on the north side of 
the point. It is called Constantine's Cave, from a legend 
that the Scottish king of this name, after a defeat by the 
Danes, was carried by his captors to the cave and there put 
to death about the year 88i. It is of small dimensions and 
irregular shape, being about fifteen feet in depth and twelve 
in width. There are small crosses cut on the rock in all 
directions ; some are on the wall on the right side of the 
entrance, both on the lower ledge of rock and on that above. 
On the last, about eight feet from the ground, are still to 
be seen six crosses cut in a broad shallow line, and with 
rough marks like those of the pickaxe : other crosses remain 
on a shelving slab on the south-west end. On a ledge in 
the roof of that end are six crosses, arranged in lines, four 
and two. On a lower ledge in that corner are six or seven 
crosses in a row. The rock is much worn and honey- 
combed, especially on the south side, but here also vestiges 
remain of small crosses all along the ledge overhead. The 
mouth of the cave was at one time closed by a wall, which 
has been entirely removed, and it is now open to the wasting 
effects of the east winds, which, with clouds of spray on 
their wings, beat with unbroken fury into this rude shelter 
of early devotion." ^ This Constantine was King of Scotland, 
third of the name, during whose reign a solemn assembly 
was held on the Mote Hill of Scone, for regulating the affairs 
of the Church. Instead of being killed by the Danes in 88i, 
as the legend states, he laid down his crown in his old age, 
and entered the monastery at St Andrews, where he died 
about the year 945.* 

When discussing the symbolism of the early Scottish 
monuments, Dr Anderson observes : " It has to be remem- 
bered that there was a species of cave occupation which 
was essentially Christian in its origin and character, and 

^ Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. ii., Pref., p. Ixxxviii. 
* Celt. Scot., vol. i. pp. 339- j6o, and Kal., p. 314. 


the series of caves in which the symbols occur are quite 
evidently of this comparatively recent ecclesiastical oc* 
cupancy. It was a well-known custom of the Celtic saints 
to retire to such solitary retreats, which thus, from the 
sanctity of their traditional associations, became in later 
times places of pilgrimage, and in some cases, when the 
concourse of pilgrims on the saints' days was large, chapels 
were improvised for their devotions, or the cave itself was 
converted into a chapel/' After mentioning certain caves 
traditionally inhabited by early saints, such as St Ninian's, 
St Medan's, &c., Dr Anderson continues : " They still bear 
the reputation of sanctity traditionally ascribed to their 
saintly occupants, and in many cases the sculpturings of a 
multitude of crosses and symbols on their walls bear witness 
to their continuous use for devotional purposes from a very 
early period. The recondite symbols found associated with 
crosses and other Christian symbols on the walls of these 
caves are the same as those on the monuments, and if there 
might be reason to refrain from assigning to them a def- 
initely Christian character and intention on the monuments, 
there can be no such reason when we find them on these 
caves, which practically were churches."^ 

There was a hermit in Kilbucho parish, Peeblesshire, 
towards the end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth 
century. Professor Cosmo Innes remarks: ** Cospatrick, 
the hermit of Kylbeuhoc, is a witness, along with Gilbert 
the parson of Kilbeuhoc, to the perambulation of the marches 
of Stobo about the year 1200." * In the sixteenth century 
a hermit occupied a cell close to the Chapel of Loretto 
at Musselburgh. He is referred to in a rhyme by Alexander, 
Earl of Glencairn, intituled, " An Epistle directed from the 
Holy Hermite of Larites to his Brethren the gray-Friers." 
Knox, in his * History of the Reformation,' quotes the 
rhyme, which thus begins: — 

" I, Thomas, Hermite in Larite, 
Saint Francis brother heartily greete." 

A few places derived their names from their connection 

1 The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland, Part I., p* m* 
» O. P. S., vol. i. p. 178. 


with some hermit or other whose own name may not now 
be remembered. Thus we find in 1665 a reference to a 
Hermit's Croft in the district of Menteith. We read that 
in that year James Edmondstone, heir of his father, John 
Edmondstone of Hermetis-Croft, was retoured in the lands 
called Hermitscroft and other adjacent lands belonging to 
the chapel of St Fillan near the castle of Doune.^ In Men- 
muir parish, Forfarshire, there was a hermitage belonging 
to St Mary's Chapel of the forest of Kilgary. Hugh 
Cumynth was the name of the hermit who dwelt there in 
the year 1454.^ We find a hermitage in the valley of the 
Tay alluded to as a boundary in a charter belonging to the 
early part of the thirteenth century, which informs us that 
David of Hay granted to the monks of Cupar one net upon 
the main water of Tay to fish with the same at their 
pleasure anywhere "between Lornyn and the Hermitage 
which Gillemichell, sometime Hermit, held; with three 
acres of land lying next to the said Hermitage." * As we 
learn firom Jervise's * Memorials of Angus and The Mearns,' * 
Lornie near Errol, here called Lorn3ai, was once a separate 
farm, but now forms part of the farm of Hill. Hermitage is 
no longer to be found as a name in the district. 

Who does not know of Hermitage Castle in Castletown 
parish, Roxburghshire, where, in 1342, Sir Alexander Ram- 
say of Dalhousie was starved to death by Sir William 
Douglas, "the Knight of Liddesdale"; and whither, in 
1566, Queen Mary rode from Jedburgh to spend a couple 
of hours with the Earl of Bothwell, who lay wounded within 
its walls. The castle stands on Hermitage Water, about 
four miles above its junction with the Liddel. The stream 
intersects the north-west portion of the parish and has a 
course of ten miles before it falls into the Liddel. Sir 
William Eraser says : " Hermitage Castle stands in a 
position of great natural strength on the banks of the 
Hermitage Water, and it was further secured by a deep 
fosse which enclosed it on the east, west, and north, and 
also by extensive earthworks. Surrounded by wild morasses 

^ Retours, Perth, No. 734, Jan. 27, 1665. 

^ Fraser's History of the Cameg^es, vol. i., Pref., p. xvii. 

' Reg. of Cupar Abbey, vol. ii. p. 289. * Vol. iu p. 196. 


and mountains, the grim towers, with their few and narrow 
windows, and their walls pierced with loopholes, add addi- 
tional gloom to the desolate and cheerless region in which 
they stand. The interior of the castle is now a complete 
ruin." ^ The castle was probably built in or about 1244 by 
Rannulph de Soulis, in whose family it remained till 1320. 
William of Douglas was captured by the English at the 
Battle of Durham in 1346. Cosmo Innes says : " In 1352 
the Knight of Liddesdale, on his release from captivity and 
his engagement to serve the King of England against all 
his enemies except the Scots, had a grant from Edward III. 
of the * border territory which he had formerly possessed, 
called the Ermytage and Lidesdale,* which Ralph de Nevyll 
was ordered to deliver to him." ^ Close to the castle is the 
ruined chapel of Hermitage, standing in the midst of its 
graveyard. The old font is built into the graveyard wall.* 
In 1594 the Lordship of Liddesdale came into the possession 
of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, whose ancestor David, 
about one hundred and twenty-five years earlier, had obtained 
a gift of the governorship of Hermitage Castle. Since then 
the castle has been the property of the Buccleuch family.* 
Who the hermit was that gave name to river and castle we 
do not know, but the surroundings of his cell were without 
doubt eminently bleak. 

In mediaeval times the abodes of anchorites were much 
resorted to by pilgrims anxious to obtain benefits from their 
visits to such lonely spots. In a petition made by Bernard 
de Broquasio, knight of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, in 1355 
to Pope Innocent VI., then at Avignon, we read : " Whereas, 
William the hermit, chaplain of St Leonard, Loifold, in 
Windsor forest, lives a solitary life, and serves God alone, 
and whereas a multitude of people flock to the chapel, the 
Pope is prayed to grant an indulgence to those who visit the 
said chapel yearly at Whitsuntide and the Assumption and 
give alms to the fabric." ^ The petition was granted for one 
year and forty days. 

^ Scotts of Buccleuch, vol. i., Pref., p. Iviii. ' O. P. S., vol. i. p. 357. 

' N. S. A., Roxburg^h, p. 443. ^ Gaz., s.v. '* Hermitage Castle." 

' Calendars of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland 
(Petitions), vol. i. p. 270. 


St Anthony of Egypt, already referred to in this chapter, 
had his name connected with a chapel and an adjoining 
hermitage on Arthur's Seat at Edinburgh, where their 
ruins are still to be seen close to a spring dedicated to 
the same saint. Grose says: ''This was a chapel to an 
adjacent hermitage ; it stands on an elevated station in the 
Park of Holyrood House, on the north side of Arthur's 
seat ; and commands a view Over the town of Leith, Frith 
of Forth, and the county of Fife. This situation was un- 
doubtedly chosen with an intention of attracting the notice 
of seamen coming up that Frith, who, in cases of danger, 
might be induced to make vows to its tutelar saint." ^ 
Grose thus describes the hermit's cell, supplying certain 
details from his imagination : " It was partly of masonry 
worked upon the natural rock. At the east end there are 
still two niches remaining ; in one of which formerly stood 
a skull, a book, an hour-glass, and a lamp, which, with a 
mat for a bed, made the general furniture of a hermitage."* 
Writing fifty years later, Sir Daniel Wilson observes : " All 
that now remains of the cell is a small recess, with a stone 
ledge constructed partly in the natural rock, which appears 
to have been the cupboard for storing the simple refresh- 
ments of the hermit of St Anthony."^ Stotherd observes: 
"The chapel and hermitage belonged to the preceptory 
of S. Antony in Leith, which was founded in 1435 by 
Robert Logan of Restalrig. It was possessed by canons 
of S. Augustin's Rule, whose church, cemetery, and gardens 
stood near the Kirkgate at the south-west end of S. 
Antony's Wynd."* This view connecting St Anthony's 
Chapel and Hermitage with St Anthony's Preceptory at 
Leith has long been popular. Mr F. R. Coles, however, 
points out that it rests on no documentary evidence. He 
thinks that the Chapel and Hermitage were probably de- 
pendent, not on the Leith Preceptory, but on the neighbour- 
ing Abbey of Holyrood.*^ A curious trace of St Anthony's 
influence on local topography is thus referred to by Sir 

^ The Antiquities of Scotland, vol. i. p. 40. * Ibid., p. 41. 

' Memorials of Edinburgh, p. 413. 

^ Lectures on Religious Antiquities of Edinburgh, Second Series, p. 208. 

' P. S. A. Scot., voL XXX. pp. 225-347. 


Daniel Wilson. "A piece of ground on the south slope 
of Arthur's Seat, known in last [i.e., the eighteenth] century 
by the odd name of Hermits and Termits, perpetuated, ac- 
cording to Lx>rd Hailes, a manifest corruption of Eremiia 
Sancta Eremi, or, the Monks of St Anthony of Egypt." ^ 
On the beautifully wooded island of Elian- Vow in Loch 
Lomond, two and a half miles north-west of Inversnaid, is 
a ruined fortalice belonging to the Macfarlanes. Early in 
last century an ascetic of the Macfarlane clan took up his 
abode in a vault within the ruin, which in consequence 
became known in the district as the Hermit's Cave.^ As 
regards love of solitude, this dweller in the island-vault 
merely followed in the wake of those who, in earlier times, 
sought retirement in caves or in sea-deserts. 

^ Reminiscences of Old Edinburg-h, vol. ii. p. 49. 
» Gaz., s,v. " Elian-Vow." 



Introduchon of Cbr'utiamty — Roman mi&tary works — Cam&da Caia — St 
Niman and St Martin — JVbitbom — Roman and Scotic manner — Lanf^— 
Llan — Planmichel — Panbride — Pitlumbertie — Lbanbryd — Lathrisk — 
Lanark — Wehb dedicationt in Aberdeenshire — Lumphanan^ iffc* — 
JLandss — Long Ne*ivtonj isfc — Cambuslang — Eaglais — EccUs — Glen^ 
eagles — ShaneccUs^ isfc, — Dalleagles and Eaglesfield — Eaglesham — 
Terregles^ iSfc, — EgHsbay — Ecclefechan — Ecclesmachan — Ecclesmartine 
— Egi/smalye^ iffc, — Ecclesiamagirdle — Lesmabagow — Ecciesgreig — St 
Ciric and King Girig, 

There is no doubt that Christianity reached North Britain 
during the Roman occupation, but we do not know pre- 
cisely at what date the doctrines of the new faith were first 
heard in our land. Archaeological research has thrown no 
light on the point. There are still to be seen the remains 
of military works constructed by Roman soldiers— ^.g'., the 
Wall of Antonine stretching from Forth to Clyde, and the 
camps of Ardoch, Camelon, and Birrens. These camps 
were excavated by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 
within recent years, and many objects of antiquarian interest 
were found.^ But nothing suggestive of Christianity was 

The earliest Christian structure in Scotland of which we 
know an}^hing was the church of Candida Casa at Whithorn 
in Wigtownshire, built by St Ninian, the son of a Christian 
prince ruling over a district beside the Solway. Bede says : 
" The Southern Picts had long before [Columba's time] for- 

^ At Birrens several pagan altars were unearthed, one of date correspond- 
ing to 159 A.D. — ' P. S. A. Scot.,' vol. XXX. pp. 81-199. 


saken the errors of idolatry and embraced the truth, by the 
preaching of Ninias, a most reverend bishop and holy man 
of the British nation, who had been regularly instructed at 
Rome in the faith and mysteries of the truth ; whose epis- 
copal see, named after St Martin the bishop, and famous for 
a stately church (wherein he and many other saints rest in 
the body), is still in existence among the English nation. 
The place is generally called the White House, because he 
there built a church of stone, which was not usual among 
the Britons." Ailred of Rievaulx, in Yorkshire, states that 
Ninian brought masons from Tours, and that, hearing of 
St Martin's death while Candida Casa was being built, he 
dedicated the church to his memory.^ This fixes approxi- 
mately the date, for St Martin died circa 397. Whithorn is 
the Old English hwitarn, and means the same as Candida 
casa — i.e.f white house. Mr P. Macgregor Chalmers thinks 
that Candida Casa got its name not from the whiteness 
of its stone, but from the colour of the cement used in 
plastering its walls.^ 

In relation to these early times, building with stone is 
commonly described as the Roman manner of construction, 
in opposition to building with wood, known as the Scotic 
manner. Bede relates that Bishop Finan built a church in 
the Isle of Lindisfarne. '* Nevertheless, after the manner of 
the Scots, he made it not of stone, but of hewn oak, and 
covered it with reeds." * This view regarding the difference 
of styles was largely true, but the distinction was not so 
radical as Bede thought. Dr Joseph Anderson puts the 
matter well when he says : *' It does not by any means fol- 
low that because the Scotic mode of construction was usu- 
ally to build with wood, all stone churches must necessarily 
belong to a time when the use of wood had been given 
up. In the islands where there was no wood, stone must 
have been used to some extent even from the earliest times. 
Both in the Orkney and Shetland Isles, and throughout the 
Hebrides, the people were familiar with the construction 
of massive stone buildings long before the introduction of 
Christianity. In lona we must accept Adamnan's testi- 

^ Metcalfe's Ancient Lives of Scottish Saints, p. la 

' Scots-Lore, p. 205. ' Ecclesiastical History, lib. iii. cap. xxv. 


mony when he tells us that they brought the wood to build 
their cells from the mainland. But this does not oblige 
us to believe that they erected no stone constructions."^ 
In Ireland — the ancient Scotia, whence the style reached 
Alban — ^the earliest churches were built usually of wood,* 
sometimes of earth, but occasionally of stone. Warren 
remarks: "^tone buildings, though not the general rule, 
were by no means unknown throughout this early period. 
The remains of rude oratories of uncemented stone still 
survive in Ireland, either like the oratory of Gallerus, of a 
date antecedent to the mission of St Patrick, or, like that of 
Crumtherim, coeval with him, or, as in the case of the 
church of St Kienan, built by his disciples."' The results 
of Petrie's researches point to the same conclusion. He 
says : " It is by no means my wish to deny that the houses 
built by the Scotic race in Ireland were usually of wood, or 
that very many of the churches erected by that people im- 
mediately after their conversion to Christianity were not of 
the same perishable material. The earlier colonists were 
accustomed to build, not only their fortresses, but even their 
dome-roofed houses and sepulchres, of stone without cement. 
This custom, as applied to their forts and houses, was con- 
tinued in those parts of Ireland in which those ancient 
settlers remained even after the introduction of Christi- 
anity, and was adopted by the Christians in their religious 

We shall see later that kil and kirk occur often in Scottish 
topography as synonyms for church. In the present chapter 
it is proposed to consider other two words having a similar 
meaning — ^viz., lann and eccles. The former, under various 
spellings, occurs in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales ; 
but most frequently in Wales, where there are some 450 
places given in the Clergy List having the prefix llartf^ each 

> Scotland in Early Christian Times, First Series, p. 125, note. 

^ *' An eleventh-century wooden church is still to be seen in Eng-land at 
Greensted in Essex." — Warren's ' Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church,' 
p. 88, note. 

* Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, p. 88. 

* Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland, second edition, p. 127. 

* In Brittany we find Ian as the cognate form. 


with a church.^ Llan in Wales is sometimes found associated 
otherwise than with the name of the patron saint of the 
parish, as in Llanaber, the church of the confluence, and 
Llangoed, the church of the wood ; but as a rule it is pre- 
fixed to the name of some saint, as in Llanasa, the church 
of St Asaph, and Llanfechan, the church of St Fechan. 
In Richards' ' Welsh-English Dictionary,' llan is defined as 
area, yard, a church. In connection with the corresponding 
Irish form Dr Joyce observes : ** Lann, in old Irish land, 
means a house or church. The word is Irish, but in its 
ecclesiastical application it was borrowed from the Welsh, 
and was introduced into Ireland at a very early age : when 
it means simply ' house,' it is no doubt purely Irish, and 
not a loan word."* Dr Joyce had found no example of 
the word in the south of Ireland. Mr A. W. Moore says 
that lann occurs only once as a prefix in the Isle of Man, 
with the meaning probably of "enclosure."* 

There is some doubt as to the origin of the word under 
consideration. Mr Flavell Edmunds suggested that llan 
meant "originally any enclosure; afterwards a heathen 
sacred enclosure, and thence a church."* Dr Skene con- 
nects llan with Latin planum.^ He remarks: ** Planum 
becomes in Celtic llan, the old meaning of which was a 
fertile spot, as well as a church. In the Inquisition, in 
the reign of David I.,* into the possessions of the See of 
Glasgow, we find the word in its oldest form in the name 
Planmichael, now Carmichael."^ Dr Skene also connects 
the prefix pan- with planum — e.g., Panbride in Forfarshire, 
which he interprets as the church of St Bridget. Canon 
Isaac Taylor holds that llan is the same word as the Teutonic 
land. We may safely conclude with Sir Herbert Maxwell, 
that " if the Latin planum, level ground, has no affinity to 
the Gaelic lann, ground, Welsh llan, an enclosure, and 

^ Arch. Camb., vol. xii. p. 133. ^ Irish Place-Names, p. 310. 

' Surnames and Place-Names of the Isle of Man, p. 155. 

* Traces of History in the Names of Places, p. 243. 

' The Spanish llano, a level field, undoubtedly comes from the Latin 

* When the inquest was made David was Earl of Cumbria, not Kingf of 

7 The Four Ancient Books of Wales, vol. i. p. 159. 


Specially a church, at all events they run very closely 
together." ^ 

With regard to Panbride just mentioned, Jervise remarks : 
" The church of Panbryd was given to the Abbey of Arbroath 
by William the Lion, and when John of Morham obtained 
a grant of the lands of Panbride from that monarch about 
12 1 4, he confirmed the royal gift."^ Lan and bride may 
possibly be associated in the name of Pitlumbertie, thus 
explained by Mr W. J. N. Liddall: Pette+lann+Brigit = 
portion of church of St Bride.^ In Elginshire is the parish 
of St Andrews- Lhanbryd, and in it is the village of Lhanbryd, 
three and a half miles east of Elgin. The ancient church 
of St Brigit is gone, but its graveyard is still to be seen in 
the village whose name is a reminder of the pre-Reforma- 
tion dedication. Kettle parish, Fife, was anciently called 
Lathrisk. It was so named till about 1636, when the 
church was removed to the village of Kettle. There is 
reason to believe that Lathrisk signifies the church of 
Athernaise or Ethernase, to whom, in conjunction with 
St John the Evangelist, its church was dedicated in 1243 
by Bishop David de Bernham. The first syllable is a 
shortened form of lann. The saint's day in the calendar is 
the 22nd of December. His name occurs in the ' Aberdeen 
Breviary ' under that date, but there are no lections supply- 
ing biographical details. He is the same as lotharnaise 
mentioned in the ' Martyrology of Donegal ' in connection 
with the church of Claonadh in Leinster, identified by 
Bishop Forbes with Clane in the county of Kildare. 

" Lanark," in the Cymric kingdom of Strathclyde, does 
not contain llan^ a church, but is merely an altered form 
of the Welsh llanerch, " a glade " or " clearing in a forest.*' 
Bishop Forbes and Dr Skene agree in thinking that we 
have traces of Welsh influence in Aberdeenshire in relation 
to church dedications. The latter remarks : " In the upper 
valley of the Dee, on the north side of the river, we find 
a group of dedications which must have proceeded from a 
Welsh source. These are Glengairden, dedicated to Mungo 

^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 49. 

' Epitaphs and Inscriptions, vol. ii. p. 309. 

* Place-Names of Fife and Kinross. 


or Kentigern ; Migvie and Lumphanan, to Finan, the latter 
name being a corruption of LlanfBnan ; and Midmar, dedi- 
cated to Nidan ; while in the island of Anglesea we likewise 
find two adjacent parishes called Llanffinan and Llan- 
nidan."^ The fact that St Vincent was reckoned the 
tutelar of Lumphanan prior to the Reformation does not 
disprove the view that the name means the church of Finan, 
for we occasionally find a dedication to one saint superseded 
by a dedication to another. In Fife is Lumphinnans, which 
is merely a variant of Lumphanan. 

In New Abbey parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, a quarter of 
a mile to the north-east of Sweetheart Abbey, are the 
remains of Abbot's Tower, at a spot known as Landis. As 
the place was church property, one is tempted to look for 
some form of Ian in the name ; but the etymology is doubt- 
ful. Lanfine, in Galston parish, probably embodies Gaelic 
linne, a pool.* Sir Herbert Maxwell regards long in certain 
place-names as an alternative form of llan. He remarks : 
"The special meaning of the Welsh llan, a church, was 
forgotten, and it has been altered in our maps to Long 
Newton, Long Niddrie, and Longformacus, because the 
map-makers thought they had in llan the vulgar Scots * lang ' 
for 'long.'"* He adds: "Close to Kirkmaiden, in the 
Machars of Wigtownshire, is a field called Long Maidens 
— that is, lann Medainn, St Medana's church. Langb^d- 
holm, near Moffat, is lann Bedleim, church of Bethlehem." 
Longforgan in Perthshire was anciently written lan-fortin, 
the prefix in all probability pointing to the church founded 
there by St Medana. Langmorn at Elgin, otherwise Ihan- 
Morgan, means Morgan's church. Shaw says : " At Lang- 
morn was a free chapel which had its own minister, probably 
till 1613, when a second minister or a vicar was settled 
in the parish."* In like manner may not Cambuslang on 
the Clyde be merely an altered form of llan? Cambus is 
the Gaelic for a bend, and the name, partly Gaelic and 
partly Cymric, would thus mean the bend of, or at, the 
church. A church was founded at Cambuslang at an early 

^ Celt Scot., vol. ii. p. 193. * Appendix, D. 

' Scottish Land-Names, p. 49. ^ Province of Moray, p> J41. 



date under the dedication of St Cadoc, a missionary from 
Wales. Welsh influence, indeed, was distinct in the 
district; for a spring in Cambusnethan parish, a little 
higher up the Clyde, was named after St Winifred,^ whose 
wonder-working well at Holywell in Flintshire still attracts 
many a pilgrim. 

We come now to consider the place-names connected 
with the Gaelic eaglais, a church, which is merely an altered 
form of eulesiUf borrowed from the Greek through the Latin. 
It is cognate with Welsh eglwySy Cornish eglos^ and Breton 
Uis, In Berwickshire are the village and parish of Eccles, 
a name found also more than once south of the Tweed. 
At an early date the church of Eccles was dedicated to St 
Cuthbert, but in the thirteenth century it was transferred 
to the patronage of St Andrew. The name of the former 
but not of the latter occurs among the four divisions of the 
parish, locally styled the " quarters " of Eccles. These are 
" Magealens or South, St John's or North, Ladies' or 
Eastern, and St Cuthbert's or Western."* There is also 
an Eccles in Penpont parish, Dumfriesshire.' In a charter 
of date 1614 we read of Ecclisland at Invermessan, in the 
Wigtownshire parish of Inch, where the term is manifestly 
used simply as an equivalent for church-land.^ 

St Ninian's parish, Stirlingshire, was in ancient times 
known as Egglis, Eggluis, or Eccles.' During the reign 
of David I., Robert, Archbishop of St Andrews, granted 
to the recently -founded Abbey of Cambuskenneth "the 
church of Egglis with its chapels of Dunipace and Lithbert 
[Larbert], and all its other chapels and oratories."* In 
Blackford parish, Perthshire, is romantic Gleneagles, leading 
from Strathallan and Strathearn to Glendevon. The late 
Mr A. G. Reid of Auchterarder favoured me with the 
following regarding the origin of the name : '* There can 
be no doubt that Gleneagles means the Glen of the Church, 
and has no aquiline derivation. By punning heraldry the 
old family of Haldane of Gleneagles adopted an eagle as 
their arms. There is a small chapel at Gleneagles in which 

^ Appendix, £. 

' Ibid., Dumfries, p. 501. 

^ N. S. A., Stirling^, p. 303. 

* N. S. A., Berwick, p. 50. 

* R. M. S. 

* Cambuskenneth Chartulary, p. 44. 



the old lairds are interred^ but it appears to be compara- 
tively modern. It seems to have been the domestic chapel 
for the use of the family. I think that the church must 
have been farther up the glen, and near to St Mungo's 
Well. I may mention that Gleneagles in common parlance 
is pronounced Glenegis. In 1520 it was written Glenneges,^' ^ 
If the old church of the glen was situated near St Mungo's 
Well, the probability is that it was dedicated to that 
Strathclyde missionary. 

The site of an early church is indicated by Shaneccles in 
Kilmarnock parish, Dumbartonshire, signifying old church, 
from Gaelic scean, old. Regarding it Mr J. Guthrie-Smith 
says: ^'St Ronan's original church in Kilmarnock was 
probably situated at a place now called Shaneccles, where 
till comparatively recent times some remains of buildings 
could be seen, and where stone coffins and urns and other 
remains of burial have been found." * Knockan-he-glish, in 
Drymen parish, Stirlingshire, means the hill or knoll of the 
church, from Gaelic cnoc, a hill. A chapel to St Mackessog 
stood on the lands of Finnick - Tennent, probably on 
Knockan-he-glish, where traces of a ruin still exist. In 
the neighbouring glen beside the Carnock is a spring 
known as the Holy Well; and farther away is a piece of 
ground styled of old the Chapel-Croft of St MacKessog, 
all pointing to ecclesiastical influence.^ On the farm of 
the Upper Braes of Cultalich, near Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, 
as the Rev. Dr Hugh Macmillan tells us, ** are the founda- 
tions of an ancient Celtic church, which may be distinctly 
traced on a high g^een mound overhanging a picturesque 
moorland burn. Nothing but the name of the mound — 
Knoc-na-Eaglais, the Mound of the Church — ^has survived 
of the traditions that may have been connected with it." ^ 

In Bonhill parish, Dumbartonshire, is Auchenheglish — 
i.e., the Field of the Church. Regarding it we read in the 
'N. S. A.':* '* At Auchenheglish, on the banks of Auchin- 
denanrie (now Belretiro), was an old burying-ground, which 

^ Cambuskenneth Chartulary, p. 218. 

^ Strathendrick and its Inhabitants, p. 127. 

' J. Guthrie-Smith's Strathendrick, pp. 74, 220. 

^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. xviii. p. 118. ' Dumbarton, p. 222. 


was used within the last century. It probably belonged to 
a place of worship which gave name to the field, and the 
ruins of which are still pointed out, when the lake is low, 
at a short distance from the shore, having been overflowed 
by the gradual encroachment of the water." At the east 
end of Loch Assynt, in Sutherland, is Achnahiglash, other- 
wise known as Balnaheglise, the field and the dwelling of 
the church.^ Dalleagles, in New Cumnock parish, Ayrshire, 
also means the field of the church, from Gaelic dail, a divi- 
sion or field. A writer in * The Athenaeum ' * suggests that 
Eaglesfield near Ecclefechan is derived from the Christian 
name of a neighbouring laird. We find Gaelic and English 
elements entering into the name of Eaglesham in Renfrew- 
shire, where the suffix is Old English, -Aam, a homestead or 
village. The present village is the successor of one that 
stood with its church about a mile from the old castle of 
Polnoon, a seat of the Montgomeries, built soon after the 
battle of Otterburn in 1388, but now represented by some 
heaps of rubbish. The rectory of Eaglesham was made a 
prebend of Glasgow Cathedral about 1430, and the rector 
had a manse in Glasgow at the head of the Drygate.^ 

The parish of Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire, containing 
the ruins of Lincluden College, where Nith and Cluden join 
their waters, shows by its name that it was once intimately 
connected with the church. In a Charter of David IL, 
circa 1350, it appears as " Travereglys," whence has come 
its present name signifying the houses belonging to the 
church — from Gaelic treabhair, a collective plural substan- 
tive, meaning houses. Regarding Terregles, Symson says : 
*' Concerning the Latin name of it, one man told me it was 
Terra Regalis ; another said its was Tertia Ecclesia ; a third 
said it was Terra Ecclesia.^' * Hecclegirth, near Annan, may 
be, as Mr Johnston suggests, church-field or -yard (Icelandic 
gardr, an enclosure). Two islands in Loch Tarbert, Jura, 
are named by Blaeu Yl-na-heglish — i.e., Church Islands.^ 

Egilshay, in Orkney, probably signifies church-island, the 
suffix being Norse -ay or -ey^ an island. Some have thought 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 693. ^ 1 2th March 1894, p. 607. 

' Gordon's Vade-Mecum to Glasgow Cathedral, p. 170. 

^ Description of Galloway, p. 11. '^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 277. 


that the prefix is Egil-, a Norse proper name. Commenting 
on this view, Mtinch remarks : " Egilsey would at first 
appear to be so called from the Northern man's name^ 
' Egill.' Certain it is that this etymology has been in the 
minds of the colonists and their successors, but, we are 
inclined to think, without any just ground. To this day 
Egilsey contains a church from the oldest times, shown by 
its construction to have been built before the Northmen 
arrived in Orkney, or at all events to belong to the more 
ancient Christian Keltic population. Both its exterior and 
interior show so many resemblances to the old churches 
in Ireland from the seventh and eighth centuries, that we 
are compelled to suppose it to have been erected at that 
time by Irish priests. As we find no remains of any similar 
churches on the islands, we must suppose it to have been 
the first of the few on the thinly inhabited isle-group. The 
island on which it stood might therefore very justly be 
called ' church-isle.' " ^ 

With regard to the date of the still existing church on the 
island, Dr Joseph Anderson is less definite. He says : " Its 
resemblances to the Irish churches of the seventh and eighth 
centuries are not sufficiently determinative to enable us to 
assign to it unhesitatingly an Irish origin; while, on the 
other hand, the resemblance to the round-towered churches 
of Norfolk suggests that it may have been of Scandinavian 
origin. But there is nothing in the architecture of the 
building either to fix the date of its erection or to deter- 
mine the questions of Celtic or Scandinavian origin with 
any degree of certainty."* There is no doubt that there 
was a church on Egilshay in the beginning of the twelfth 
century, probably the same as the one whose round tower 
is still such a conspicuous object.' In 1115 St Magnus was 
treacherously murdered on the island by his cousin Earl 
Hdkon. We learn from the ' Orkneyinga Saga * that when 
Magnus suspected treason on the part of the earl, he walked 

^ M^moires de la Soci^t^ Royale des Antiquaires du Nord, 1845-1849, 

p. 223. 

^ Orkneyinga Saga, Introduction, p. xciii. 

' For an account of the structural details of this church, vide Dr Ander- 
son's ' Scotland in Early Christian Times,' pp. 34-37. 


along the island with his men, and went into the church to 
pray. This church may have been the successor of a humbler 
structure dating from the times when Celtic missionaries 
visited our northern islands. Brand, writing in 1701, men- 
tions that the church on Egilshay was much resorted to by 
superstitious people, drawn thither, doubtless, by the still 
lingering traditions concerning the tragic death of St Magnus 
in the neighbourhood of the building.^ 

The word under review is associated in certain instances 
with the name of the saint to whom the church was dedi- 
cated. Thus Ecclefechan in Dumfriesshire, styled in charters 
" Ecclesia Sancti Fechani," commemorates St Fechan, who, 
as we have seen above, is associated with Llanfechan in 
Wales, and whose name appears in altered guise in St 
Vigeans in Forfarshire.^ About five miles to the south-east 
of Linlithgow is the village of Ecclesmachan,' in a parish of 
the same name, called after St Machan, a disciple of St 
Cadoc, who flourished probably in the latter half of the 
sixth century.* In the ' Calendar of Papal Registers,* Eglis- 
manqhwy is mentioned under date 1404. This is doubtless 
Ecclesmachan, as the saint was also known as Manchan. He 
evangelised the district of Campsie in the Lennox, and, ac- 
cording to the ' Martyrology of Aberdeen,' was buried there.* 
He is described in that work as having been ^'a singular 
mirror of life and virtues *' {vite et viriutum speculum singulare). 
" The church of Campsie was situated at the mouth of a 
ravine called Kirkton Glen, where five streams, pouring 
down from the hills, unite to form the water of Glasert." ^ 
It was one of the prebendal churches of Glasgow Cathedral, 
the parson being Chancellor of the Diocese. One of the 

^ Brief Description of Orkney, Zetland, Pightland Firth, and Caithness, 
p. 4a 

* Fechan means a little raven, in Erse and GsieWc Jitheachan, The word 
appears in Torphichen — ue., the Raven's Hill — in Linlithg'owshire. 

' Ecclesmachan is also locally known as Inchmachan. 

* Kal., p. 380. The Lanarkshire parish of Machanshire or Dalserf, styled 
"Mecheyn" in the Inquisition of Prince David, circa 11 16, has probably 
nothing to do with St Machan, but may be connected with Gaelic mc^h^ 
a plain. 

' Petitions, voL i. p. 627. ' P. S. A. Scot., vol. ii. p. 269. 

' Gordon's Vade-Mecum to Glasgow Cathedral, p. 164. 


chancellors, Patrick Leiche, actuated by respect for the 
patron-saint of Campsie, founded in 1458 "a new chap- 
laincy, with a perpetual chaplain, within the cathedral 
church of Glasgow in the nave on the north side at the 
altar of St Manchan, situated at the third pillar from the 
rood-loft." 1 

In Fife, near Auchtermuchty, are the village and parish 
of Strathmiglo, so called from the Miglo forming the upper 
part of the river Eden. The ancient name was Eccles- 
martine, showing that its church was under the patronage 
of St Martin of Tours. In the R. M. S., under date 1605, 
we read of " villam et burgum de Strathmiglo, alias Eglis- 
martene." In i486 mention is made of the lands of Inch- 
Martyne, near Aberdour, in the same shire, known earlier 
as Eglis-Martyn.* In Fife also we find Eglismaly or Egs- 
malee on the lands of Tyrie, in Kinghorn parish. The 
name occurs in a charter of 1611, where we read of "one 
half carucate of land at the church of St Mating, now called 
Inchkerie, with the chapel Buchadlach, then called Eglis- 
maly."' The meaning of this is somewhat obscure, but 
Eglismaly is undoubtedly the same as Egsmalee, thus re- 
ferred to in the ' N. S. A.' : * "In the middle of a field be- 
longing to the farm of Tyrie stands an old ruin, the gable 
of a building of no great extent, but which, from its name 
and human bones found around it, was most likely a chapel. 
. . . The people call it Egsmalee." The name signifies, 
in all probability, the church of St Maling, otherwise Moling, 
an Irish saint of the seventh century. 

In Marykirk parish, Kincardineshire, is Ecclesmaldie 
or Inglismaldie; but its dedication is uncertain. Jervise 
suggests that as Ecclesmadie was an old spelling of 
the name, it may have been to St Madie, otherwise 

In the ' Register of the Priory of St Andrews,' ® under date 
121 1, allusion is made to the rights of the Culdees of Mony- 

^ For further particulars reg-arding' this altar, vide Archbishop Eyre's 
article on *'The Old Arrangements of the Glasgow Cathedral" in the 
' Trans, of the Glasgow Archaeol. Society,' New Series, vol. i. p. 488. 

« P. S. A. Scot., vol. iii. p. 217. » R. M. S. < Fife, p. 810. 

* Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 137. • P. 371. 


musk in Aberdeenshire over a half carucate of the land called 
Hglisnien}rthok. Bishop Forbes probably sums up all that 
can be said on this point when he remarks: "This name 
occurs under di£ferent spellings, — Eglismenegcott, Eglis- 
matok, Eglismenethok. From the analogy of the other 
places in Scotland where the eglais generally precedes the 
name of the local saint, we must presume that that is the 
case here ; but who he is, or what is the original form of 
his name, it is impossible to ascertain."^ Forbes suggests 
that the name may be the same as Ecclesmonichty in 
Moniiieth parish, Forfarshire, regarding which Jervise says : 
"Although there is now no hamlet — not even a cottage — 
at Ecclesmonichty, the town and lands of Egglismonichtie 
in the regality of Kirriemuir are particularly specified in a 
charter granted to James Lovell of Ballumbie by the Earl 
of Angus at Cupar- Fife, 27th October 1619." Mr A. J. 
Warden thinks that the church of Ecclesmonichty " may 
have been dedicated to the Virgin, as the tree that marks 
the site of the church is called the * Lady Tree.' " * If so, 
the Virgin evidently superseded the earlier patron. The 
vicarage of Dun, in the same county, was united in 1583 
to the parsonage of Eglisjohn to form the present parish 
of Dun. Mr W^arden says: "The parsonage was of old 
a chapel erected for pilgrimage, and consisted only of one 
plough of land. At the time of the annexation it was said 
to have been for a long time without a kirk. The site of 
the chapel of Eglisjohn is near to the house of Langley 
Park, and traces of it still remain."* In the R. M. S., 
under date 1613, is a reference to 'terras de Egliscarno in 
constab. Haddington." These lands, now called Eagles- 
carnie, may possibly be named after a W^elsh saint, a friend 
of St Patrick, called Carnac, Cairnech, or Carnocus.* The 
old name of Carluke, in Lanarkshire, was Eccles-Malesoch 
or Eglis-Malescok. The name is difficult to interpret ; but 
Mr Johnston proposes what seems to be the most likely 
derivation when he says, "The ma- is probably the en- 
dearing prefix, and -och the diminutive; so -Lesc may be 
the name here corrupted into -Luke.''^ 

* Kal., p. 397. ' Angus, vol. iv. p. 373. • Ibid,, vol. iii. p. 167. 

* Kal., p. 298. * Scottish Place-Names, p. 64. 


Ecclesiamagirdle, otherwise Exmagirdle, in Dron parish, 
Perthshire, is so overshadowed by the Ochil Hills that, 
according to an old rhyme, 

" The lasses o* Exmagirdle 
May very weei be dun» 
For f^e Michaelmas till Whitsunday 
They never see the sun." * 

Chambers thinks that the name embodies that of St Grizel 
or Grizelda. The same view is taken by Mr Johnston. 
Dr Skene, however, finds in Ecclesiamagirdle the name 
of St Adrian in a corrupted form, and in this he is prob- 
ably correct. He says : " His [Adrian's] true . name of a 
Scot was probably Odran. . . . The corrupt form of it 
was Magidran, which is simply the Irish mo with the inser- 
tion of a g, euphonia gratia. The parishes of Flisk and 
Lindores are dedicated to MacGidrin, and a church near 
Dron is called, after him, Exmagirdle."* At Ecclesia- 
magirdle a fragment of an ancient chapel is still to be 

Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire is a corruption of Ecclesia 
Machuti, the St Machutus of the sixth century, a disciple 
of St Brandan.^ He was of noble British birth, and was 
elected Bishop of Gunim Castri, but he refused the honour 
and went to Brittany, where against his will he was made 
a bishop. Forbes says: "This S. Machutus is the same 
with S. Malo, S. Maclovius, or S. Maclou. The see in 
Brittany to which he was elected was Aleth, which after- 
wards being reduced to a village, his sacred remains were 
carried to S. Malo, and the see transferred thither."^ 
According to another version, his relics, or at least some 
of them, were brought to Scotland and deposited in a 
church afterwards known as Ecclesia Machuti and Les 
MachutCf and later as Lesmahagow. Cosmo Innes re- 
marks : " In 1316 King Robert First granted to the B.V. 
and St Machutus, and the monks of Lesmachute, ten 
merks sterling for supplying eight tapers of a pound of 

' Chambers's Popular Rhymes of Scotland, p. 144. 

* P. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. p. 318. • N. S. A., Fife, p. 601. 

* St Machutus was titular of the pre-Reformation church of Wigtown. 
^ Kal., p. 381. 


wax each, to be burned round the tomb of St Machutus 
on Sundays and festivals, as the custom is in cathedral 
and collegiate churches. • . . The ancient baptismal 
church became the church of the priory peopled by Kelso 
monks. It stood with its village on the Abbey-green, in 
a narrow part of the strath of the Nethan." * 

St Cyrus in Kincardineshire was formerly known by 
the alternative name of Ecclesgreig, written in 1382 
" Egylysgryg," and in 1403 " Eglisgyrg.*' In addition to 
commemorating St Ciric, the martyr of Tarsus in the 
fourth century, it recalls Girig, King of Scotland, in the 
ninth. The latter was variously known as Grig, Girg, 
Girig, Greg, Gregour, and Ciric. The connection between 
the saint and the king, and the relation of both to the 
church of St Cyrus, are thus indicated by Dr Skene : 
" There is a curious notice in the Pictish Chronicle that 
in his [Grig's] ninth year an eclipse of the sun took place 
* die Cirici.' The day of St Cyricus fell on the sixteenth 
of June, and there actually was a great eclipse of the sun 
on the sixteenth of June 885, which corresponds tolerably 
well with his ninth year. This seems to show some con- 
nexion between his own name and that of the saint ; and 
it is curious that a church in the Mearns, dedicated to 
St Cyricus, is called, in old charters, Ecclesgreig, or the 
Church of Greig."* The most probable explanation is 
that the king, having the same name as the saint, founded 
a church to keep alive the memory of both. The old bury- 
ing-ground near the sea, locally styled the Nether Kirkyard, 
wzs probably the site of the original church. We learn 
that on the seventh of the Ides of August 1242 the church 
of Cyricius, the martyr of Eglisgirg, was dedicated by 
Bishop David de Bemham.* This was evidently the suc- 
cessor of Grig's church. The mansion of Ecclesgreig House, 
formerly Mount Cyrus, keeps alive the ancient name.* 

1 O. p. S., vol. i. p. no. 

' Chronicles of Picts and Scots, Pref., p. cxxxvii. 

* Register of the Priory of St Andrews, p. 348. 

^ In a charter of date 147 1 in the R. M. S., reference is made to the 
church of Egliagreg with the chapel of St Regulus (St Rule), and to the 
church-lands of Eglisgrig and Eglisreul. 



Origin of kil — Cella — Other meanings of kil — Keil and Keils — Their con^ 
nection *ivith St Columba — KelU — Kinkell — Loch-nan^Cea/I — Portkill — 
Portankill — Kilninver — Kilmelfort — Glenakille — Machrykitt — jichinkill 
— Kildrtim — Kildrummy — Kilcreggan — KtlRn — Penkiln — Balnakeitty — 
Balnakiel — Kilchrenan — Kiinave, 

The history of cill, anglicised kil or kill, is of special value, 
as it takes our thoughts back to the earliest days of Celtic 
Christianity. In reference to the term Canon Isaac Taylor 
observes: "Originally this denoted only a hermit's cell, 
though it was afterwards used to mean the church, of which 
the hermit's cell was so often the germ. The numerous 
village names which have this prefix kil- possess a peculiar 
interest. They often point out to us the earliest local 
centres from which proceeded the evangelisation of the 
half-savage Celts; they direct us to the hallowed spots 
where the first hermit missionaries established each his lonely 
cell, and thence spread around him the blessings of Christ- 
ianity and of civilisation. In Ireland alone there are no 
less than 1400 local names which contain this root, and 
there are very many in Scotland also. In Wales and the 
neighbouring counties a few names occur with the prefix 
kil- instead of llan-. These names may probably be re- 
garded as local memorials of those Irish missionaries who, 
about the fifth century, resorted in considerable numbers to 
the shores of Wales." ^ Dr Joyce computes the number of 
kils in Ireland at even a higher figure than that given by 

^ Words and Places, p. 227. 

KILS. 75 

Canon Taylor. He says : " Cill {kilt)^ next to baile^ is the 
most prolific root in Irish names. Its most usual anglicised 
form is kill or kil^ but it is also made kyle, keel, and cal; 
there are about 3400 names beginning with these syllables, 
and if we estimate that a fifth of them represent cotll, a 
wood, there remain about 2700 whose first syllable is derived 
from cill.**^ Keetl is the form found in the topography of 
the Isle of Man.* 

The word was borrowed by the Celtic missionaries from 
the Latin, and is merely cella, a cell or church, in a slightly 
altered form. Regarding the term as it appears in Gaelic, 
Professor Mackinnon remarks: **The old nominative was 
ccall, the genitive singular is cille, and the dative cill, which 
last has become the nominative." * The secondary meaning 
of the term is churchyard. This happened by a natural 
transition of thought, for the church and its burying-ground 
gradually became parts of one ecclesiastical conception. 
In Scotland, kil is sometimes the anglicised form of Gaelic 
words other than cill; and in consequence care has to be 
taken in interpreting place-names embodying the syllable 
in question. Thus kil may represent coill, a wood, cool, a 
strait, cuil, a corner, or cut, a back or ridge. Among about 
a score of kils given by Mr Liddall in his list of Fife and 
Kinross place-names, he has only one — viz., Kilminning 
— connected with church. Even allowing for difference of 
opinion regarding at least other two names in his list, we 
cannot but be struck with the preponderance of non- 
ecclesiastical kils in the area indicated. In our western 
districts the case is quite otherwise. 

As we shall see in the three following chapters, kil, when 
signifying a cell or church, is commonly linked with the 
name of the saint to whom the particular church was dedi- 
cated, but sometimes it appears simply as keil or keils with- 
out any such addition. Mr T. S. Muir remarks: "There 
are many keils in Argyle ; and while admitting that in the 
absence of the dedicatory title it may be the abbreviation 
of kil-anything, I am disposed to believe, from the number of 

^ Irish Names of Places, p. 303. 

^ Moore's Surnames and Place-Names of the Isle of Man, pp. 151, 152. 

* Scotsman, Article No. v. 

y6 KILS. 

instances in which the patron's name has been preserved, 
that in those in which it has been lost it was that of 
Columba. We have, for example, Keil in the southern 
extremity of Kintyre ; Kilcolmkill, * better known/ says the 
minister of the parish, ' by the contracted name of Keil,' in 
Ardchattan; Keils in the island of Canna; Keils near 
Portaskaig, in the island of Isla ; and Keils at the mouth of 
Lochaline in Morven, — at all which there are remains of 
ancient churches, known to have been dedicated to St 
Columba." ^ The first of these Keils is in Southend parish, 
and gives name to the estate of Keil, close to whose mansion- 
house is the ruined church of St Columba, standing in its 
ancient burying - ground. Mr Muir gives the following 
particulars : '' Besides many worn slabs of ancient type, the 
yard contains one fine and finely preserved specimen on 
which is boldly sculptured the figure of an ecclesiastic in 
benediction or prayer, with a chalice beneath; but the 
church — a long narrow building, with small round-headed 
windows and doorway, in the side walls only — has no 
features requiring remark. Under an overhanging rock, 
close by on the roadside, is St Columba's Well, and on the 
top of a hillock overlooking the west end of the burial- 
ground there is, by the side of the turf-covered groundwork 
of a small rectangular building and the pedestal of a pillar, 
a flat rock bearing on its top the impress of two feet, made, 
it seems, by those of the saint whilst he stood marking out 
and hallowing the spot on which his chapel should rest." ^ 
There is another Keils in North Knapdde parish, Argyll, 
''a pleasant and rather picturesque spot jutting into the 
Sound of Jura three miles or thereby north of Kilmory and 
Eilean m6r." ^ According to the writer of the parish article 
in the 'New Statistical Account of Scotland,' the chapel 
there was dedicated to St Cormack, but Mr Muir holds 
that, as in the case of the other chapels mentioned above, 
it was probably dedicated not to St Cormack but to St 
Columba. The roofless building stands in a small burying- 
ground behind a low rocky hill at the back of the ferry- 
house. Near it is a carved cross about seven and a half 

' Muir's Eccles. Notes, p. 180, note. ^ Ibid., p. 266. ' Ibid., p. 176. 


feet in height, and within and around the chapel are several 
sepulchral slabs ''elaborately decorated with sculpturings 
of warriors, galleys, swords, animals of chase, and border- 
ings of intertwined foliage."^ 

The parish of Kells* in Galloway probably represents 
Gaelic coill^ a wood, with the English plural ; and it is likely 
that Kinkell, with perhaps one exception to be mentioned 
immediately, means the head of the wood, from Gaelic ceann, 
a head. There are five examples of Kinkell — viz., an estate 
near St Andrews, a district in Fordoun parish, Kincardine- 
shire ; an ancient Strathearn parish now included in Trinity- 
Gask; a castle in Urquhart and Logic- Wester parish, 
Ross-shire; and an ancient parish in the Garioch district 
of Aberdeenshire, united in 1754 partly to Kintore and 
I>artly to Keithhall parish. It is possible that the last- 
mentioned Kinkell may embody kil, a church, in its final 
syllable. If so, the word means head church. As a 
matter of fact Kinkell had, in pre- Reformation days, seven 
churches depending on it — vi2., those of Drumblade, Skene, 
Kintore, Dyce, Kemnay, Kinellar, and Monkeggie, and 
accordingly was quite entitled to be called a head church.' 

We find kil in conjunction with certain physical features. 
Thus " the large arm of the sea that almost divides Mull 
into two is called Loch-nan-Ceall," as Professor Mackinnon 
tells us, " because of the number of churches erected along 
its shores."* In Rosneath parish, Dumbartonshire, close 
to the shore and just opposite Gourock, is the mansion- 
house of Portkill, otherwise Portkiln,* signifying the 
Harbour of the Church. Near it a chapel is said to have 
stood, and in an adjacent field some stone coffins were dug 
up. Professor Cosmo Innes says : " It has been supposed — 
but apparently without sufficient evidence — that the Earls 

^ Muir's Eccles. Notes, pp. 180, 181. 

3 With reference to Kells in Ireland Bishop Reeves remarks: '*The 
Irish name is Cenannus, which sigtiifies * head abode,' and gives the title 
of Hectdfinrt in the Irish and Kenlis in the British Peerage to the family of 
Taylor, whose seat is t>eside the town of Kells. Kenlis is the transition 
form of the name." — * Adamnan,* Intro., p. li. 

' Temple's Thanage of Fermartyn, p. 254. 

^ Scotsman, Article No. ix. 

' Maughan's Rosneath Past and Present, p. 161. 

78 KILS. 

of Lennox founded here a religious house of canons regular, 
and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary." ^ Portankill, in Kirk- 
maiden parish, Wigtownshire, half a mile north of St 
Medan's Cave, was so called, according to Sir Herbert 
Maxwell, from the proximity of its bay to the site of the 
old parish church dedicated to St Catherine.* The hamlet 
of Kilninver in Lorn means the church of, or at, the 
confluence — from Gaelic inbhir, a confluence. The hamlet 
is situated on the side of Euchar Water, just above its 
junction with Loch Feochan. It gave name to the ancient 
parish of Kilninver, now united to Kilmelfort, whose church 
stands about eight miles from that of Kilninver. Kilmelfort 
means the church of Melfort, and derives its name from the 
sea-loch of Melfort, forming a fiord or firth, having the 
island of Luing at its entrance, and extending fully three 
miles into the land. In 1403 Melfort was written Melferth. 
The last syllable is probably the Norse fjord, in a slightly 
altered form. Mr Johnston suggests that the first syllable 
is Icelandic mel-r, a sand-dune covered with bent, a sand- 

In South Knapdale parish, Argyll, is Glenakille — i.e., the 
Glen of the Church, where once stood a chapel long since 
removed but surviving by its burying-ground. About half 
a mile north-west of the old castle of Kilkerran, on the 
farm of Whitehill in Dailly parish, Ayrshire, is a spot called 
Machry-kill, where a chapel once stood on the banks of a 
rivulet. Chalmers, thinking that he saw St Machar's 
name in Machry-kill, says that the chapel was dedicated 
to that saint. In the same line of thought the writer of the 
parish article in the * New Statistical Account of Scotland ' * 
remarks: ''At a place called Machry-kill there was a small 
church or chapel, probably dedicated to St Macarius." Sir 
Herbert Maxwell's contention is just, that "to bear this 
interpretation the name would certainly have been cast in 
the form Kilmdchar." He says : " The fact is, that it has 
no reference whatever to the saint commemorated in the 
parishes of Old and New Machar in Aberdeen, which formed 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 29. 'P. S. A. Scot., voL xx. p. 76, note. 

' Scottish Place-Names, s.v. "Melfort." 
* Ayr, p. 384. 

KILS. 79 

of old the EccUsia beaii Sti Machorii ; the original dedication 
of this Ayrshire site has been forgotten ; the place has been 
named in pure Gaelic (which was spoken in the neighbour- 
hood as late as the Reformation) machaire cill, the field of 
the chapel — kirkfield.'*^ This is a natural etymology. A 
difficulty, however, lies in the meaning of machair, which 
signifies a plain or level piece of ground, whereas Machry- 
kill is on a slope. The Rev. Dr TurnbuU of Dailly has 
favoured me with the following information regarding the 
place : " The site is not level, but on the slope of a hill. 
It partakes of the general character of the neighbouring 
land which slopes towards the valley of the Girvan ; and 
it has a further slope towards a small burn which at this 
point flows through a narrow glen of moderate depth." The 
foundations of the chapel were removed in 1850 in con- 
nection with agricultural improvements, but close to its 
site are still to be seen a cross-carved socket stone, and the 
pedestal of what was evidently a very tall cross.* 

In Cumbernauld parish is Achinkill, which one may safely 
interpret as the field of the church, from Gaelic achadh, a 
field (in topography, ach or auch). That the place had 
ecclesiastical associations is evidenced by what Cosmo 
Innes tells us. He says: "At Chapelton, on the farm of 
Achinkill, in the east end of the parish, some vestiges remain 
of an old cemetery which probably surrounded a church or 
chapel of which we have now no other trace but these 
names, both of which seem to point at such a foundation." ^ 
Kildrum, in the same parish, is either the Church of the 
Ridge or the Wood of the Ridge, the suffix being Gaelic 
druimj a back or ridge. Kildrummy, in Aberdeenshire, is 
interpreted by Mr Johnston as " the wood on the hill- 
ridge."* There is another Kildrummy in the neighbour- 
hood of Nairn. In Drymen parish, Stirlingshire, there are 
various ecclesiastical sites, and one of these is probably 
Drumakill — i.e., the Ridge of the Church, where it is likely 
some chapel stood. The old church of the parish is thought 
by Cosmo Innes to have been situated at Knocknaheglaish, 

^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 12. 

^ Ayr and Wigton Archaeological and Historical Collections. 

> O. P. S., vol. i. p. 49. * Scottish Place-Names, s,v. « Kildrummy.*' 

80 KILS. 

on the lands of Finnich Drummond.^ Kilcreggan, on the 
Firth of Clyde, means the Church on the Little Rock, the 
suiiix being the diminutive of Gaelic creag, a rock or crag ; 
but there are now no remains of any ancient ecclesiastical 
building at the place. 

Some uncertainty attaches to the meaning of Killin, at 
the head of Loch Tay in Perthshire. According to one 
etymology it signifies the Grave of Fingal (Gaelic cilU 
Fhinn) ; and a stone is pointed out as marking the resting- 
place of that hero. According to another etymology it is 
the Church of the Pool (Gaelic linne^ a pool). Referring to 
these two etymologies, the writer of the article on Killin in 
the * New Statistical Account of Scotland ' * remarks : " The 
name of this parish is variously derived. It may signify 
'the chapel, churchyard, or burying-place of the pool,' — 
the ruins of an old chapel and churchyard being situated on 
the bank of the river Lochay, and having one of the deepest 
pools in the river just behind them. But a more romantic 
derivation has been given. A spot near the village of Killin 
has, from time immemorial, been pointed out as the grave 
of Fingal. This was once the site of the church, and also 
of the churchyard. The name agrees with either derivation, 
cill'linne or cilUFhinn, There are considerations, however, 
which lead the writer to adopt the latter. One of these is 
that the church and churchyard of the parish were near the 
site of Fingal's grave, and therefore at a considerable dis- 
tance from the pool. Another circumstance deserves to be 
mentioned. The course of the Lochay seems to have been 
at one time considerably distant even from the present 
churchyard, and still more so from the old one referred to." 
Mr Johnston suggests a third etymology. He thinks that 
as Killin is the burying-place of the Macnabs, it may be 
regarded as the equivalent of killean — a common name in 
the south-west of Ireland for a burying-place.^ Loch Killin, 
an expansion of the river Bran in Ross-shire, is, in Gaelic, 
Loch-a-Chuilinn. The name perhaps means the Loch of 
Hollies, from Gaelic cuilionny a holly; and if so it has 
manifestly no ecclesiastical associations. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 38. • Perth, p. 1076. 

' Scottish Place-Names, s,v» "Killin." 

KILS. 8 1 

Penkiln (otherwise Penkill) Burn in Kirkcudbrightshire 
means the Pool of the Church. Regarding the apparently 
Cornish prefix pen- and its relation to kil^ Sir Herbert 
Maxwell remarks : "It is sometimes the corruption of 
another word. Thus the stream flowing past the ancient 
and picturesque parish church of Minigaff in Galloway is 
called the Penkiln, but it is not a Welsh word. In Pont's 
map it is spelt PoolkiU, which represents the Gaelic pol cil 
(keel), water or stream of the church." * There is another 
Penkiln Burn in Sorbie parish, beside which stood a church 
dedicated to St Fillan.^ Balnakeilly in Kilspindie parish, 
Perthshire, signifies the dwelling of, or at, the church, the 
prefix being Gaelic bailCy a dwelling or town. In Durness 
parish, Sutherland, is Balnakiel, a mansion-house giving 
name to Balnakiel Bay. The house is close to the church, 
a rivulet running between them. The land was anciently 
Church property, and tradition says that the bishops of 
Caithness had a summer residence on the site of the present 
mansion-house.' There is another Balnakiel in Uig parish 
in the Lewis, where a church dedicated to St Christopher 
is believed to have stood. The parish church, built in 1829, 
occupies a site in the vicinity.^ At Clachan, in Kintyre, is 
the estate of Balnakill, so called from the ancient church 
dedicated to St Colmonella, which stood at some little 
distance from the present parish church of Kilcalmonell. 

Kilchrenan parish, in Argyll, extending along both sides 
of Loch Awe, has a curious etymological history. The 
name signifies the Church of the Dean. It was written 
in 1361 " Kildachmanan," and in 1605 " Kildachrenan." 
At the former of these dates the church was entitled 
" Ecclesia Sancti Petri Diaconi," with the addition in 1434 
of '* de Lochaw " and in 1530 of " de Lochow." Regarding 
St Peter the Deacon and the dedication to him at Kilchrenan, 
Cosmo Innes observes : " This saint seems to be unknown 
to hagiologists. The name of the church may have gradually 
assumed this form firom the circumstances that the church 
of Lochow was the church of the dean, as its name ' Kil- 
dachmanan' seems to imply, and that it was, as appears, 

^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 46. ^ Gall. Top. 

' O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 702. ^ Ibid., p. 385. 


82 KILS. 

dedicated to Saint Peter. The confusion of Diaconus with 
Dean is very common in Scotch writs." * 

Kilnave in Kilchoman parish, Islay, means, according to 
Captain Thomas, the Church of the Saints — viz., those 
who gave name to Eilean Nave, the Island of the Saints, 
and Ardnave, the Promontory of the; Saints in the same 
neighbourhood. According to a local tradition, Kilnave 
was, in 1588, the scene of a terrible tragedy following a 
clan fight between the Macdonalds and the MacLeans. A 
party of the latter, after being defeated by the Macdonalds 
on the side of the neighbouring Loch Gruinard, took refuge 
in the church. The Macdonalds set fire to the building, 
and the MacLeans perished in the flames. The church, 
as the writer of the parish article in the *N. S. A.'* re- 
marks, "stands to this day a roofless monument of the 

^ O. p. S., vol. ii. p. 121, note. • Argyll, p. 650. 



KUcbrut—KU losa—ICdtearn—Kdtrinidad—ICdmchael—K'il^er—CiU' 
ma-Neachian — Kslieam — C'dU Aindreas — Kdmore^ J5*f. — Kih on cast 
and '(vest coasts — KUcolmkdl — Kilmalcolm — KUchuindn — Killewnancy 
isfc, — Kdchoman — Kilcalmonell — Ktlchenzic — Kslpatrick — Kilmahc<tu 
— KUbride — KUkcrran — Kilkrvan — Kilchouslan, 

A TRAGEDY, similar to that mentioned at the close of the 
previous chapter, was associated with Kilchrist — f.^., the 
Church of Christ, an ancient parish of Ross-shire, now 
united to Urray. The local tradition is thus given by Cosmo 
Innes : " In 1603 the Clanranald of Glengarry plundered the 
lands of Kilchrist and the adjacent lands belonging to the 
Mackenzies; and the inhabitants who were assembled in 
the church were there burned to death by the invaders, 
whose piper meanwhile marched round the building playing 
a pibroch which has since been known, under the name of 
' Kilchrist,' as the family tune of the Clanranalds." ^ Hugh 
Miller, who, however, calls the place Gilliechrist, when 
describing the same incident, observes : " It was the Mac- 
kenzies of Ord that their fellow -Christians and brother- 
churchmen — the Macdonalds of Glengarry — succeeded in 
converting into animal charcoal, when the poor people were 
engaged, like good Catholics, in attending mass; and in 
this old chapel of Gillie-Christ was the experiment per- 
formed. The Macdonalds, after setting fire to the building, 
held fast the doors until the last of the Mackenzies of Ord 
had perished in the flames ; and then, pursued by the Mac- 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 524. 


kenzies of Brahan, they fled into their own country, to glory 
ever after in the greatness of the feat." ^ 

The parish of Strath in Skye was at one time known as 
Kilchrist. Its ancient church stood at Loch Chriest, near 
the centre of the parish. Muir tells us that *' in the burying- 
ground are the remains of a pretty large church, apparently 
of moderate age, two or three fine slabs, and a plain pros- 
strate cross, five feet six inches in length." * In connection 
with his visit to Kilchrist, Pennant remarks : " Near the 
church are vast strata of fine white marble, and some veined 
with grey, which I recognised to have been the bed from 
whence the altar at lona had been formed."* There is 
another Kilchrist in the united parish of Kilninian and 
Kilcolmkill in Mull. The Rev. J. B. Johnston says that 
there was at least one Kil losa — i.e., the Church of Jesus — 
but he does not indicate the whereabouts of the place or 
places so named.* The Ross-shire parish of Kilteam was 
written in 1296 " Keltyern," and also *' Keltyerne," signify- 
ing the Church of the Lord, fi-om Gaelic Tighearn or 
Tighearna,^ the Lord.® The parish church stands close to 
the shore of the Cromarty Firth, and probably occupies the 
site of the original building.*^ An ancient ecclesiastical site 
in the south of North Uist, on a raised spot not far from 
the ford to Benbecula, was formerly known as Kiltrinidad, 
and now goes by the name of Teampul-na-Trianaide, both 
signifying the Church of the Trinity. The site is occupied 
by two ruined churches of different sizes, and probably of 
different dates. They are about five feet from one another, 
but are connected by a semicircularly vaulted passage with 
a window at each side, the passage being evidently a later 
addition.^ St Michael the Archangel has several dedications 
along our western coasts, particularly in Argyll. As Dr 
James Colville observes : " He was the favourite saint with 
the Norse settlers, and especially associated with the horse. 

^ My Schools and Schoolmasters (ed. 1889), p. 176. 

^ Eccles. Notes, p. 34. ' Tour in Scotland, vol. ii. p. 285. 

* Scottish Place-Names, Pref., p. cv. 

' Gh in Gaelic is pronounced as ^ in English. 

* Bishop Forbes connects Kilteam with St Tighemach, regarding whose 
date there is much uncertainty. Vide 'Kal.,'f.v. '*Tighemach." 

7 O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 478. ^ Muir's Eccles. Notes, p. 277. 


For centuries, all over the Outer and Inner Hebrides, his 
feast-day was marked by a mad gallop from every clachan 
and bal around to the church-gate." ^ Five kils were dedi- 
cated to him in Argyll — viz., Kilmichael, an ancient parish 
now included in Campbeltown ; Kilmichael, in Inverchaolain 
parish ; Kilmichael, in the district of Carradale in Killean 
parish ; Kilmichael — Glassary parish, and Kilmichael — 
Inverlussy in North Knapdale parish, past which flows 
Kilmichael Water, a stream having its source in Kilmichael 
Moor.* In Glencloy, Arran, is Kilmichael, where there was 
a chapel whose foundations were removed early last century. 
In Urquhart and Glenmoriston parish, Inverness-shire, is 
Kilmichael, where there used to be a bell, which was held 
in much reverence, and was believed to ring of its own 
accord when a funeral was approaching the burying-ground.* 
Kilmichael in Bute is thought by the Rev. Dr J. K. 
Hewison to be the church not of St Michael the Archangel, 
but of St Maccaille, a disciple of St Patrick who died circa 

490 A.D.* 

St Peter is represented in topography in connection with 
kils. Houston parish, Renfrewshire, united to Kilallan in 
1760, was anciently called Kilpeter. About the middle of 
the twelfth century the barony came into the possession of 
Hugo de Paduinan, and Hugh's Town supplanted Peter's 
Church ; but the ancient name is still to be found in Peter's 
Bum and St Peter's Well. A fair was held till a compara- 
tively recent date in connection with St Peter's Day (29th 
June).^ In Kildonan parish, Sutherland, are the lands of 
Kilphedder. " The place of Kilphedder " Sage describes as 
" a lovely spot, past which a rushing torrent breaks through 
the copsewood on its way to the river (Helmsdale). The 
burn of Kilphedder, a little farther down, turned a mill built 
there for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the lower 

^ ''Romance of a West Highland Loch'* in 'Glasgow Herald' (17th 
September 1898). 

» N. S. A., Argyll, p. 633. 

' Mackay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 387. 

* Bute in the Olden Times, vol. i« p. 66. Vide St Michael's Grave in 
chap. XXX. 

' Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 836, note. 


part of the strath." ^ In Clyne parish, in the same county, 
are the lands of Kilpeddermore and Kilpedderbeg, named in 
a retour of 1616 Meikill Kilpeddir and Lytill Kilpeddir.' 
Kilpeter, styled in 1561 " Keilpedder in Veist," formed the 
southern part of the modern parish of South Uist, compris- 
ing the districts of Kandish and Boisdale and certain neigh- 
bouring islands. It was called by Monro, in 1549, " Peitter's 
Parochin." The church stood at Kilpeter, near the west 
coast of the parish.' There is a Killipheder in Kilmuir 
parish in North Uist, where a chapel is believed to have 
stood. Kilfeather, in New Luce parish, Wigtownshire, is 
merely another form of Kilpeter, the aspirated p in Gaelic 
having become /in English.* 

Nectan, King of the Picts, in the early part of the eighth 
century, officially recognised the cultus of St Peter within 
his dominions. He favoured the Roman usage regarding 
Easter and the tonsure as against the Celtic, and went so 
far as to expel the Columban clergy from his kingdom. 
He himself became a cleric, and Dr Skene thinks that we 
have probably a trace of him in Cill-ma-Neachtan, regarding 
which he observes : " It is possible that Neachtan may have 
made up his quarrel with the lona monks and retired to 
lona, as we find there, at the end of a broad and elevated 
terrace near the present ruins, the remains of a bur3ring- 
ground called Cill-ma- Neachtan which marks the site of 
an oratory."* 

In Clyne parish, mentioned above, we find Killean near 
Loch Brora, signifying St John's Church. In Mull, between 
Loch Don and Loch Spelve, is Killean, a secluded spot 
where there are some remains of a small chapel and several 
sculptured slabs.^ In Kintyre is Killean, a parish united 
to Kilchenzie before 1636, and entitled, in an early Latin 
charter, "Ecclesia Sancti Johannis." Its cruciform pre- 
Reformation church, still almost entire, stands on the west 
coast opposite the island of Cara. The parish of Kildalton 
in Islay also recalls St John, but in a dififerent way. The 
name signifies, according to Sir Herbert Maxwell, the Church 

^ Memorabilia Domestica, p. 98. ' O. P. S., vol. ii. p« 726. 

» Ibid., pp. 365, 366. * GalL Top., s.v. " Kilfeather." 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 233, note. ' Muir's Eccles. Notes, p. 35. 


of the Foster-brother — an affectionate appellation of St John, 
who is styled in the Book of Lismore the bosom-fosterling.^ 
Dalian is evidently the diminutive of Gaelic dalta^ defined 
by Dr Macbain ^ as foster-son, god-son. Cosmo Innes says : 
"The original church of the parish stood at Kildalton, a 
few miles south-west firom the entrance to the Sound of 
Islay, where its cemetery, and apparently its walls, altar, 
and font, still remain."' St Andrew is commemorated in 
Cille Aindreas on the banks of the Tilt in Blair AthoU parish, 
where some sepulchral remains were found. ^ Churches 
dedicated to the Virgin originated such names as Kilmore, 
Kilmuir, and Kilmory, to be referred to in another chapter.* 

It is noticeable how few kits are to be found in the East 
of Scotland in conjunction with the names of saints, com- 
pared with those along our western seaboard and in the 
Hebrides. This difference is to be traced to the greater 
proximity of the latter districts to Ireland, whence so many 
missionaries sailed to evangelise our land. Some of these 
kits represent towns or parishes, and others hamlets or farms ; 
while others, again, are merely ancient ecclesiastical sites. 

Professor Mackinnon truly remarks: "The marvellous 
influence which the Church acquired over the rude northern 
tribes was due in great measure to the high rank, great 
learning, political sagacity, and religious fervour of Saint 
Columba. The great missionary was also fortunate in being 
accompanied by men who were fit to be companions, and 
successors even, to him." ^ Columba has a special claim on 
our attention here ; for not only is kil prefixed to his name, 
but the latter has often kil as a suffix, indicating Columba 
of the Church.^ Thus we have Kilcolmkill — i.e., the Church 
of Columba of the Church. There were four ancient 
parishes so named — viz., Kilcolmkill in Mull, now united to 
Kilninian; Kilcolmkill in Kintyre, now forming part of 
Southend parish ; Kilcolmkill in Skye, now Snizort parish. 

^ Mr Johnston takes a different view. He interprets Kildalton as church 
of the littie foster*child, or god-child, which just means branch or aflSliated 

^ Gaelic Dictionary, 5. v. ** Dalta." ' O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 269. 

* N. S. A., Perth, p. 568. « Vide chap. xv. 

' Scotsman, Article No. ix. ' Vide chap. ii. 


whose church stood on an island at the head of Loch 
Snizort ; ^ and lastly, Kilcolmkill united to Killintag to form 
the modem parish of Morven, Argyll. Its church stood at 
Keil, and tradition says that Columba himself selected the 
spot.' To these should be added Kilchalmkil, at one time 
the alternative name of Sand in North Uist, formerly a 
separate parsonage, but latterly united to Kilmuir parish. 
Among non-parochial localities bearing the name may be 
mentioned Kilcolmkill, now Keil, in Ardchattan parish, 
Argyll; Kilcolmkill in Kildalton parish, Islay; Kilcolmkill 
in Killarrow and Kilmeny parish, also in Islay, between 
Loch Finlagan and the east coast; and Kilcolmkill, an 
estate near Loch Brora in Clyne parish, where there is 
a fine cascade in the Black Water river, and where, accord- 
ing to Pennant, a battle is said to have been fought between 
the country people and the Danes, in which the latter were 

We find the initial kil but not the final kill in Kilmalcolm 
in Renfirewshire —, the Church of my Columba. The 
/ before the c is intrusive. The name was written in the 
twelfth century " Kilmakolme," the ma being the honorific 
syllable so often attached to the name of a saint.* There 
was another Kilmalcolm in Aberdeenshire regarding which 
the Rev. Dr Temple observes : " In 1266, when Reginald 
Cheyne was Thane of Fermartyn, there is among the 
accounts rendered to the Exchequer a payment of ten 
marks for the lands of Kilmalcolm, let to the burgesses of 
Fyvy. There is no name at the present day in the 
neighbourhood that bears any resemblance to this."^ 

Cumine the Fair, who wrote a biography of Columba, 
and died as Abbot of lona in 66g, has probably left a trace 
of himself in Glenelg parish, once styled Kilchuimen,^ and 
at Fort Augustus which was formerly known as Kilchuimin ; 

* O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 355. ■ N. S. A, Argyll, p. 181. 

* Tour, vol. i. p. 557. ^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 174. 

* The Thanage of Fermartjrn, p. 57. 

* Some perplexing" spellings of Kilchuimen are on record. Professor 
Cosmo Innes inclines to St Coemgen as titular. He says : '' The church, ap- 
parenUy dedicated to Saint Coemgen, seems to have stood on the right bank 
of a small stream falling into the bay of Glenelg near the village of Kirk- 
town, where the modem church also is situated." — * O. P. S.,' vol. ii. p. 207. 


while Adamnan, Columba's later biographer, who was also 
Abbot of lona, and died in 704J is commemorated in the 
lands of Killewnane, otherwise Kilyownane, in Kintyre, and 
in Kilmaveonaigi Blair AthoU, according to Mr Johnston, 
who interprets the name as *' Church of my dear little Eunan 
or Adamnan." ^ There is, however, some uncertainty about 
this etymology* Kildavannan farm in Bute, near Cnoc- 
davannan, where there are the foundations of a chapel, is 
thought by Dr J. K. Hewison to embody in all probability 
Adamnan's name;^ but the etymology is obscure. There 
is a Kilvannan in South Uist. 

St Comman or Coman, one of the brethren at lona, 
narrated to Adamnan — on the testimony of Fergna, an 
uncle of the former — ^a story of a miraculous light which 
filled the church on one occasion when Columba entered 
it to pray.^ We find his name in Kilchoman, a parish in 
the Rhins of Islay. St Colman-Eala, otherwise Columbanus, 
is represented by the parish of Kilcalmonell, regarding which 
Professor Mackinnon gives the following curious informa- 
tion : '* KiUcalmonell, in Kintyre, is called in the district 
Sgire Chalmaineala, the Parish of Colmonella. But the 
Islay people, who live right opposite, knowing nothing of 
Colmonella, allowed their fancy free play and changed the 
name to Sgire-nan-calaman geala "the Parish of White 
Pigeons."* This is the picture of the place given by Dr 
James Colville in his 'Byways of History': "Soon the 
western glen discloses a vista in which the clachan of Kil- 
calmonell lies half hid among the woods of Balinakil ; and 
beyond the eye follows a succession of pastoral knolls to 
the fortress crag of Dunskeig, while in the background the 
white sails float on the wave that washes the shores of 
Gigha and Islay, and the pearly mist drapes lightly the 
gracefiil cones of the Paps of Jura. The site of the early 
shrine is indicated by the name Sheanakil, the Ancient 
(Lat. senex) Cell, given to a rugged knoll that looks down 
upon the hamlet from the north side of the stream at some 
little distance from the present church. On Pont and 

^ Scottish Place-Names, s,v. '' Kilmaveonaig." 

^ Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 209. * Adamnan, lib. iii. cap. 20. 

* Scotsman, Article No. iii. 


Blaeu's Map the spot is marked ' Balnaheglish,' Kirk toon. 
Here, too, there are traces of an old burying-ground." ^ 
On Blaeu's map there is a Kilchalmanel marked in what 
is now Southend parish, showing a second dedication to the 
saint in Kintyre. 

St Kenneth, otherwise Cainnech, Abbot of Aghaboe in 
Ireland, had various links with Scotland, particularly with 
the Western Isles. He was a friend of Columba, and ac- 
companied him on his mission to the court of King Brude, 
near Inverness. We find a trace of the saint in Kilchenzie 
parish — i.e., the church of Kenneth in Kintyre, whose 
ancient place of worship is situated some four miles from 
Campbeltown, — and in Kilchainie in the islands respectively 
of Coll, Tiree, and South Uist, at each of which a chapel 
to St Kenneth is believed to have stood. We also find a 
trace of him in Ayrshire in the now ruined Castle of Kil- 
chenzie in Maybole parish,^ regarding which, after referring 
to various houses in the district, Abercrummie remarks, 
in his " Description of Carrick *' : " Many of these are sweet 
desyreable places; but for the good building, gardens, 
orchards, and all other accommodations, Kilkeiznie is the 
chief, lying about a short myle south from the Towne of 
MayboU." » 

St Patrick, the best known saint of Ireland, was not an 
Irishman by birth. What we know regarding his parentage 
is contained in his " Confession ** and his " Epistle to Coro- 
ticus." In the former he says: "I, Patrick, a sinner, the 
rudest and the least of all the faithful, and an object of 
the greatest contempt to many, am the son of Calpornius, 
a deacon, the son of the late Potitus, a presbyter, who lived 
in Bannavem, a village of Tabernia, in the neighbourhood 
of which he had a small farm." * Patrick was living there 
when about the age of sixteen he was carried away as 
a captive to Ireland, whence he escaped six years later. 
The place called Bunnaven Tabirnise is commonly iden- 
tified with Dumbarton. If one might hazard a conjecture, 

1 Byways of History, pp. 57, 59. * N. S. A., Ayr, p. 365. 

• Pitcaim*s History of the Kennedys, p. 177. 

* Vide * EpisUes and Hymn of Saint Patrick,' by Rev. Thos. Olden ; also 
Skene's * Celtic Scotland,' vol. ii. pp. 427-443. 

^" ^ J mmirvmw^^fm^^^m^^i^^^m^^^i^m^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ u U U LI ■ ^ 


Bunnaven is Gaelic for the foot of the river — i.e., the Leven 
at Dumbarton. We certainly find the saint in Dumbarton- 
shire, where there are the parishes of Old and New Kil- 
Patrick. The former has various traditions regarding him. 
There is St Patrick's Stone, and there was a place formerly 
known as St Patrick's Seat, while in the churchyard a 
sculptured effigy was supposed to represent the saint. The 
church is said to have been built on soil brought from 
Ireland in honour of St Patrick. His shrine was a resort 
of pilgrims in mediaeval times, and the holder of the lands 
of Kilpatrick seems to have been under an obligation to 
entertain them.^ According to tradition St Patrick was 
buried at Old Kilpatrick, but in reality he was interred at 
Downpatrick, in Ireland. A well-known couplet says : — 

"In Down three saints one tomb fill, 
Patrick, Bridget, and Columkille." 

There are other three Kilpatricks — viz., Kilpatrick on 
Loch Scridain in Mull, where there was a chapel to the 
saint; Kilpatrick near Duart Castle, also in Mull, where 
there was likewise a chapel ; and Kilpatrick on Drumadoon 
Bay, otherwise Kilpatrick Bay, in Arran. 

St Macceus or Mahew, one of St Patrick's disciples, is 
commemorated in Kilmahew in Cardross parish, Dum- 
bartonshire, where .there was a chapel dedicated to him. 
Mr W. C. Maughan remarks : " In the year 1467 the chapel 
of Kilmahew was rebuilt, and on the tenth day of May, 
George, Bishop of Argyll, with licence from the Bishop of 
Glasgow, clad in his mitre and pontifical robes, consecrated 
the chapel and cemetery dedicated to St Mahew. He also 
granted, in name and by consent of Duncan Napare of 
Kilmahew and James Napare his heir, to God and St 
Mahew, and a chaplain to celebrate in the newly conse- 
crated chapel, forty shillings and tenpence yearly out of 
tenements in the Burgh of Dumbarton, with a croft adjoin- 
ing the chapel."* 

Bridget, Brigit, or Bryde — Mary of the Gael, as she was 

^ Bnice's Old Kilpatrick, p. 59. 

' Annals of Garelochside, pp. 243, 244. 


styled — acquired a definite place in the folk-lore^ and topo- 
graphy of our western districts. Her day in the Calendar is 
1st February ; but as through the admixture of pagan legend 
she gathered to herself the attributes of a fire-goddess, her 
festival was often held on Candlemas (2nd February). The 
fire at her shrine at Kildare was kept burning for centuries, 
and was finally extinguished only on the suppression of the 
monasteries by Henry VHI.^ A curious custom practised 
in Colonsay in Martin's time (circa 1695) on the 2nd Feb- 
ruary is thus described by him : " The Mistress and Servants 
of each Family take a Sheaf of Oats, and dress it up in 
Women's Apparel, put it in a large Basket, and lay a wooden 
Club by it, and this they call Bruds-bed; and then the 
Mistress and Servants cry three times, * Briid is come, Brild 
is welcome.' This they do just before going to bed, and 
when they rise in the morning they look among the Ashes 
expecting to see the Impression of Briid' s Club there; 
which, if they do, they reckon it a true Presage of a good 
Crop and prosperous Year, and the contrary they take as 
an ill Omen." 8 

As already indicated, her dedications were numerous in 
the West. Six parishes were named Kilbride, four of these 
being on the mainland — viz., Kilbride, a suppressed Niths- 
dale parish, known later as Kirkbride; East Kilbride, 
Lanarkshire, whose church in pre- Reformation times be- 
longed to the Bishops of Glasgow, and was assigned for the 
maintenance of the chanter of the Cathedral ; * West Kil- 
bride, Ayrshire, where a fair called Brydsday used to be 
held in the churchyard on the saint's festival;* and Kil- 
bride, Argyll, united to Kilmore soon after the Reformation. 
Its church, styled in 1249 "Ecclesia Parochialis Beate 
Brigide Virginis in Lorn,"® stood at Kilbride, to the west 
of Lochnell, about three miles from Oban. Two of St 

1 Vide Article in *G\aiSgow Herald' (and February 1895), «St Brigit in 
Hebridean Folk-Lore," by W. M*K. 

* Article on "Celtic Mythology" by Alex. Macbain, in 'Celtic Maga* 
zine,* vol. ix. p. 212. 

' Western Isles, p. 1 19. For an ancient custom in the Isle of Man, some- 
what resembling this, vide Dyer*s * British Popular Customs,' p. 51. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 100. ■ N. S, A., Ayr, p. 243. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. p. 108. 


Bride's parishes axe, or were, on islands — viz., Kilbride 
(now Harris), Inverness-shire, and Kilbride in Arran, whose 
church stands near Lamlash. In its grave3rard are some 
ancient slabs sculptured with crosses, swords, &c.^ 

Among non-parochial Kilbrides may be mentioned the 
following : Kilbride in the island of Seil ; Kilbride in Glen- 
fruin; Kilbryde, an estate in Dunblane parish; the lands 
of Kilbride in Kilfinan parish, where we also find Kilbride 
Bay; Kilbryde in Inveraray parish; Kilbride in the island 
of Coll; Kilbride in Strath parish in Skye; Kilbride in 
Kilmuir parish, in the same island;^ Kilbride in Glassary 
parish ; and Kilbride in Glenmore, in Bute. Regarding the 
last, Dr J. K. Hewison remarks : " Of St Bride's chapel and 
cemetery not a trace now remains save in the name of the 
farm of Kilbride, the hill above it called Kilbride Hill, and 
the farm in the vicinity — Drumachloy (Drum-a-chlaidh), 
Ridge of the Churchyard." * In Keir parish, Dumfriesshire, 
we find Kilbride Loch and Kilbride Hill, both named from 
a chapel to the saint believed to have stood on the latter.* 
Hillmabreedia, in New Luce parish, Wigtownshire, should 
also be mentioned, since, according to Sir Herbert Max- 
well, it is merely an altered form of Chill-ma-Brighde, Cell of 
our Bridget. It is situated on the Breedie Burn, St Bride's 

St Kieran's church in Dailly parish, Ayrshire, is recalled 
by Kilkerran, an estate with a mansion-house and a ruined 
castle. In Islay is Kilchieran, situated at the head of a creek 
some two miles south of Kilchoman. Muir says: "The 
east end and a fragment of the south wall of a chapel are 
existing at this place; the former has no window, but in 
its interior face are two recesses with projecting sills, 
flanked on the north by an ambry, and on the south by 
a projecting piscina." • Kilchiaran parish, otherwise Kil- 
kerran, in Kintyre, is now merged in that of Campbeltown, 

^ MutPs Eccles. Notes, p. 4. 

* Kilbride in Seil and Kilbride in Kilmuir parish seem to have had a quasi- 
parochial status in pre-Reformation times. 

* Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 1 14. 

^ N. S. A, Dumfries, pp. 462, 467. ' Scottish Land-Names, p. 174. 
' Eccles. Notes, p. 15. 


but there is still a Kilchiaran on the south shore of Camp- 
beltown Loch, about a mile from the burgh. The former 
name of Campbeltown parish was Ceannloch-chille-Chiaran, 
the Head of the Loch of Kilkerran.^ 

Kilkivan, another ancient parish now included in Camp- 
beltown, embodies the name of St Coivin, otherwise Kevin, 
an Irish anchorite who founded the monastery of Glenda- 
lough in Wicklow about the middle of the sixth century, 
and sought retirement in a cave, hence called St Kevin's 
Bed, in the face of a rock some thirty or forty feet above 
a neighbouring lake. Colonel T. P. White observes : " The 
church with its burying-ground stands close to the farmhouse 
of High Kilkivan, to which it gave its name. The building 
is in tolerable preservation, the western gable being nearly 
entire, but the east portion and part of the north wall are 
gone. What are left of the walls stand ten or eleven 
feet high." Colonel White adds : " A little to the south of 
the church is a small hill named Cnocan-a-Chluig (Knoll 
of the Bell), so called, it is said, because from its summit a 
bell used to be rung to summon the parishioners to their 
devotions.* In 1772 Pennant, when describing the appear- 
ance of the country between Campbeltown and Machrihanish, 
remarks: "This plain is fruitful; pretty much inclosed, 
and the hedges grow well — a great encouragement to further 
experiments. Observe on the roadside the ruins of the 
chapel of Cill-chaovain, or Kilchyvain : within are some old 
gravestones, engraven with figures of a two-handed sword, 
and of dogs chasing deer." ' St Coivin had a chapel near 
Macharioch House in Southend parish, but the foundations 
alone remain to indicate its site. 

Another parish, now part of Campbeltown, was Kilchous- 
land, called after St Constantine, a king in Cornwall in the 
sixth century, who relinquished his crown and went first to 
Wales and then to Ireland, and later to Scotland, where he 
founded a monastery at Govan near Glasgow, over which he 
presided as abbot. He preached the Gospel in Kintyre, 
where he was martyred in extreme old age,* and where the 

^ N. S. A., Argyll, p. 453. 

* Arch«ological Sketches in Scotland, Kintjrre, pp. 88, 117, 119. 

* Tour, vol. ii. p. 196. ^ Fordun's Scotichronicon, vol. i. p. 150. 


church of Kilchousland is still his memorial. Regarding 
the building Colonel White observes: "The ruin of the 
church — in dimensions some sixty feet by twenty — is still 
in good preservation, walls and gable-ends tolerably entire, 
but the roof gone." ^ A short way up the hillside from Loch 
Gilp, and close to Ardri3haig, is Kilduslan, or Kilduskland, 
which Colonel White is inclined to resolve into Kilda 
Chusalam — i.e,, the Church of Constantine. He remarks : 
*' The prefix da- or do- is met with in the more ancient forms 
of Celtic saints* names ; and if its existence be taken for 
granted here, we might accept it as some evidence of a 
higher than ordinary antiquity in this religious site."* 
Though mart)n:ed in Argyll, St Constantine was buried at 
Govan, where an elaborately sculptured sarcophagus, still 
preserved, is thought to have been his shrine. The Cornish 
parish of Constantine bears his name ; and, as Mr Wm. C. 
Borlase tells us, a chapel was dedicated to him in St Merryn, 
" the adjoining parish to Padstow, where he was com- 
memorated, says Lysons, on Mar. 9 (two days before his 
feast in Constantine parish), by an annual hurling match. 
A shepherd's family held one of the farms in St Merryn for 
many generations by the annual render of a Cornish pie, 
made of limpets, raisins, and sweet herbs on the feast of 
St Constantine."* In Dunnichen parish, Forfarshire, a 
chapel dedicated to St Constantine became in time the 
church of the parish, at whose Kirkton a noted fair used 
to be held in March in honour of the saint. In Forfarshire 
a fall of snow occurring in that month is, or was, known as 
St Causnan's Flaw.* An interesting parallel is to be found 
in what is known in Norfolk as a '* Whinwall storm " early 
in March, recalling St Winnal or Winwaloe, a Cymric 
saint of the sixth century, to whom a priory at Wereham 
was dedicated, and whose day in the Calendar is the 3rd of 
the month in question.^ 

^ Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Kintyre, p. 112. 
' Ibid., Knapdale, p. 84. 

• The Age of the Saints, p. 145. 

* O. S. A., vol. i. p. 422, and N. S. A., Forfar, p. 152. 

' *' Popular Superstitions," 'Gentleman's Magazine Library,' p. 31. 


KILS AND SAINTS — conttntied. 

KUbrandon — KUbirme — Kilbarchan — KUberry — Kiimaluag — KilUtpkkerrill 
— Kilmomvaig — Kilmun — KtUiemacuddican — Killintag — Kiuum^ne — 
Klivean — Kildonan — KiltarUty — Kilynasg — Kilnuuhenaghan — Kilma^ 
humag — KUchammak — Kilvici (ycbarmaig — Kiiviceuen — Ktifinicben — 
Ktlmurdab — Kiiblane — JGkbaitan — Kilearnadale — KUkam — Killoran 
— Kiffeaman — Kilmodan — Kilmaronock — Kilmaglass. 

The name of St Brendan of Clonfert appears in two forms 
in connection with his kils — viz., Kilbrandon and Kilbirnie. 
In the west of Kintyre is Kilbrandon — a parish now united 
to Kilchattan; and in the east is Kilbrandon, otherwise 
Kilbrennan Sound — a belt of sea extending some twenty- 
seven miles south from the entrance to Loch Fyne. The 
kil that gave name to the sound is a chapel near Skipness 
Castle. Close to it is a small creek called Brann-a-Phuirt ; 
and a sandy bay some six miles to the south is known as 
Brian Puirt, — both signifying, as Colonel White suggests, 
St Brendan's Port.^ In Mull is a place called Kilbrennan, 
connected with which was a pennyland belonging in 1561 
to the Abbot of lona.^ Kilbirnie is a town and parish in 
Ayrshire. Cosmo Innes says: "The church, situated on 
the Garnock and beside the castle of the manor, appears 
to have been dedicated to Saint Brandane, the apostle of 
the isles, whose festival is on the sixteenth day of May. 

^ Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Kintyre, p. 182, where the re- 
puted dedication to St Columba of the chapel at Skipness is discussed. 
Mr Johnston interprets Kilbrennan Sound as the **kyle" or << strait" of 
St Brendan, and gives cool Brendain as the equivalent in Gaelic. VitU 
'Scottish Place-Names,' s.v* "Kilbrennan." 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 321. 


The annual fair is held on the 28th of May, and is called 
Saint Brinnan's Day. In the neighbourhood is a mineral 
well, known by the name of Birnie's Well."^ Kilbirnie 
Loch is in the adjoining parish of Beith. There are two 
Kilbimies in the north — viz., Kilbirnie in the Boyne dis- 
trict of BanfiTshire, and Kilbirnie in the Aird of Inver- 

The Renfrewshire parish of Kilbarchan, written at one 
time Kylberchan, recalls St Berchan, regarding whose dates 
there is considerable uncertainty. He was called in Irish 
Fer-da-Leithe — i.e., the Man of Two Portions, because half 
of his life was spent in Erin and half in Alban. He is said 
to have been a bishop in the Orkneys. One of the fairs 
at Tain in the sixteenth century is named in a charter 
" Dies S. Barquhani qui est tercius dies post festum S. Petri 
ad Vincula vocat. Lambmes " — i,e,, the 4th of August ; but 
Dempster, in his ' Menologium,' places St Berchan's Day 
at 6th April ; ^ while in the * Martyrology of Donegal ' a 
St Bearchan is entered under 4th December. The Rev. 
D. Mackenzie observes: "We are well within the mark 
if we assign to St Barchan dates within the sixth and 
seventh centuries : there is no reason whatever for putting 
him later than 700 A.D., and he may have been as early as 
550 A.D."' Mr Mackenzie mentions that the annual fair 
known as Barchan's Day is held in the parish on the first 
Tuesday after the 12th of December — i.e., on the first 
Tuesday of December (O.S.), corresponding so far with St 
Berchan's Day as given in the ' Martyrology of Donegal ' 
quoted above.* 

St Berach of Kilbarry, in county Roscommon, Ireland, 
gave name to Kilberry parish in Kintyre, now united to 
Kilcalmonell. When the saint was about to sail from lona 
to Tiree, he was warned by Columba to take a circuitous 
route in order to avoid a certain monster of the deep which 
would otherwise molest him. He disregarded the warning, 
and encountered an enormous whale which so agitated the 
sea that the occupants of the boat were in imminent danger 
of shipwreck.* 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 92. ' Kal. ' History of Kilbarchan, p. 20. 

^ Vide Adamnan, Intro., p. ccxxxi. ' Adamnan, p. 17. 



The ancient church of Kilberry stood on the right bank 
of Kilberry water; and till modern times there was a bell 
in the parish called St Barry's Bell, and inscribed with his 

On the west coast of Kilberry parish is Kilmaluag, where 
there was a chapel to St Lugaidh (pronounced Lua), better 
known with honorific prefix and suffix as Mo-luog, which 
appears under various spellings. The saint was an Irishman 
by birth, and received instruction from St Brendan. He 
crossed to Scotland, and after founding several churches, 
died in 592, and was buried at Rosemarkie in Ross-shire. 
The island of Lismore, however, was the principal scene 
of his labours, and we naturally find a Kilmaluag there. 
The Dean of Lismore in 1251 was Gillemeluoc — a significant 
name, as it means the Servant of St Maluog.* Lismore 
parish, now united to Appin, was known circa 1600 as 
Kilmaluag, and in 1662 as Kilmaluage in Lismoir.^ Kilmuir 
parish in Skye was called Kilmaluag prior to the Reforma- 
tion. Its ancient church stood at Kilmaluag, on the north- 
east coast of the parish. There is a Kilmaluag in the island 
of Tiree, and there is another in Mull ; while in Renfrew- 
shire is the barony of Kilmaluag. In the south of Raasay 
is Kilmoluag, where St Moluac's church stood. Cosmo 
Innes says : " Its precincts were of old a sanctuary, which 
was marked by eight erect stones or crosses, some of which 
were remaining in 1773." * The saint's crosier is thus de- 
scribed by Dr Joseph Anderson : ** The Bachul More, or 
Great Staff of St Moluag of Lismore, is now in the posses- 
sion of the Duke of Argyll. It is a plain staff of wood, two 
feet ten inches in length, retaining in some parts the plates 
of gilt copper with which it had been covered. Unfortun- 
ately the curved head is partly broken off, so that its precise 
form is no longer ascertainable." Dr Anderson adds in a 
footnote: *'A small freehold in the island of Lismore was 
held for centuries by a family named Livingstone (locally 
styled the Barons of Bachuill), as the hereditary custodiers 
of the Bachul More. In 1544 we learn firom a grant to one 

' O. S. A., vol. xix. p. 318. ^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 408, note. 

* O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 159. * Ibid., p. 347. 



of the 'Barons' that part of the lands had the name of 
Peynabachalla." ^ 

When the see of Argyll was created, circa 1200, it had as 
its first bishop Harald, chaplain to the Bishop of Dunkeld, 
in whose diocese Argyll was till then included. We find 
a trace of Harald in Killespickerrill — i.e., the Church of 
Bishop Harald, at one time the alternative name of 
Muckairn parish. Further reference is made to this in 
chap. xvii. St Neamha or Neamhag, who succeeded St 
Moluag as abbot in Lismore, and died circa 610, is com- 
memorated in Kilmonivaig parish, Inverness-shire, whose 
ancient church is believed to have stood where the present 
parish church stands — in the angle between the rivers Spean 
and Lochy. 

The name of St Munna or Mund is found in Kilmun, a 
burying-ground ; in Inveraray parish in Kilmun, an estate ; 
on Loch Avich near Loch Awe; and in Kilmun on the 
Holy Loch, in the Firth of Clyde, where the saint founded 
a church or monastery, and where he is said to have been 
buried "at a spot locally known as Sith-Mun." Cosmo 
Innes says : " About the year 1363, Mary, Countess of 
Menteth, granted to her kinsman Archibald, the son of Sir 
Colin Campbell of Lochaw, the lands of Kilmun in Cowall 
for the yearly payment of a pair of Paris gloves at Glasgow 
Fair." ^ The hereditary keeper of the saint's crosier had a 
croft at Kilmun attached to his office. St Mund was born 
in Ireland, where he spent his youth. He was anxious to 
visit St Columba in lona, but did not arrive there till after 
the latter's death. Baithene, the new abbot, however, 
received the visitor graciously, but would not enrol him 
among his monks on the ground that Columba had 
prophesied that he should not be the monk of any abbot, 
but should become an abbot of monks. He was accord- 
ingly sent back to Ireland to found a monastery near the 
sea in the district of Leinster.* His connection with 
Kilmun was of a later date. In early life he was a shepherd, 
and thus resembled St Cuthbert, who tended sheep on the 
slopes of the Lammermoors. We have a trace of the latter 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, First Series, p. 226. 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 72. ' Lives of the Scottish Saints, p. 60. 


in Killiemacuddican, in Kirkcolm parish, Wigtownshire, 
which Sir Herbert Maxwell interprets as Church of St 
Cuthbert, — apparently a diminutive of the name of the 
famous saint.^ 

Fintan was an alternative name for St Mund, but we 
read of another saint of the same name — viz., Fintan, son 
of Aid ; and it is probably after the latter that the parish 
of Killintag in Morven was called, the / having dropped out 
through aspiration. Reeves remarks : " Fintaig may be a 
form of Fintan, as Colmoc is of Colman," and adds, " There 
is a small valley at the mouth of Glenroy termed Glenfin- 
taig, which seems to take its name from the same person 
as Cillfhintaig or Killintaig."* On one occasion when, 
accompanying St Columba on a journey across Drumalban, 
Fintan, son of Aid, was seized with sudden and severe ill- 
ness, his companions asked Columba to pray for his re- 
covery. This he did, and a cure followed. At the same 
time Columba prophesied that the young man would live 
longer than any of those present. Adamnan, who narrates 
the incident, says that Fintan founded a monastery at Kailli- 
au-inde, which Skene is inclined to identify with Killun- 
dine, in the parish of Killintag just mentioned.^ 

St Baithene, named above, can be traced in Kilvean, 
another name for the estate of Bught near Inverness, or 
at least of a portion of it. Included in it is Torvean — i.c^ 
St Baithene's Hill, a ridge rising immediately above the 
Caledonian Canal, and showing traces of early fortifica- 
tions.^ In these names the t has been lost through aspira- 
tion, and the b has become v from the same cause. St 
Donan was well known in our western and northern dis- 
tricts. He was specially identified with the island of Eigg, 
where he was head of a monastic establishment consisting 
of fifty-two brethren, and where he and all his monks 
were slain about the year 6i6. Their martyrdom is thus 
referred to by Dr Skene : " While the people would seem 
to have been favourable to the little Christian colony es- 
tablished in the island by Donnan, the rule had passed 
into the hands of a queen, who was still pagan and em- 

^ Gall. Top., s,v, " Killiemacuddican.** ' Adamnan, p. 328. 

* Ibid., p. 328. ^ N. S. A, Inverness, p. 14. 



ployed pirates to destroy them, who burnt the wooden 
church in which they were celebrating the Eucharist, and 
the whole community accordingly perished." ^ Martin says, 
in connection with his visit to Eigg : " There is a church 
here on the East side the Isle dedicated to St Donnan, 
whose Anniversary they observe. St Donnan's Well, which 
is in the South-West end, is in great Esteem by the Natives ; 
for St Donnan is the celebrated Tutelar of this Isle." * The 
church referred to by Martin stood at Kildonan. 

We can trace the influence of the saint elsewhere. Thus 
we find Kildonan in South Uist; Kildonan in Kirkmaiden 
parish, Wigtownshire; Kildonnen near Campbeltown; Kil- 
donan in Arran; Kildonan in Colmonell parish, Ayrshire; 
Kildonnen at Lynedale, Skye; Kildonen on Little Loch 
Broom, in Loch Broom parish, Ross-shire ; and Kildonan, 
a parish in Sutherland.^ Regarding the saint's influence 
in the parish in question, the Rev. Donald Sage, writing 
in 1840, remarks : " In my younger days there were many 
traditions of him afloat in the locality. One of these was, 
that after his death none could be found to fill his place so 
as to exert the moral influence which he exercised over the 
minds of the people. His successor therefore caused a 
wooden image of him to be made with features of coun- 
tenance hideous and frightful. If any man proved refrac- 
tory, he was immediately locked up in the church or cell 
at Kildonan, alone with this representation of St Donan, 
during the silence of night ; and the consequences invari- 
ably were that, when brought forth from this confinement 
next day, the features of the saint and the death-like still- 
ness of the cell had reduced him to absolute obedience. 
The cell, as well as the whole parish, from this circumstance 
was called ' Kil-duranach ' (or ' the sullen cell,' as it means 
in ancient Celtic)."* 

A contemporary of St Donan was Talorggain or Talarican, 
whose sphere of influence is to be found in the north of 
Scotland. He was patron of Fordyce parish, where his 
name lingers in St Tarkin's Well; but he was specially 
identified with the country north of Inverness, where we 

^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 153. ' Western Isles, pp. 278, 279. 

' Adamnan, pp. 296, 297. * Memorabilia Domestica, p. 97. 


find Cill-Talargyn or Kiltarlity. There is also a trace of 
him in Skye, where the parish of Portree was formerly 
known as Ceilltarraglan.^ 

Kilynaig in Coll, and Killeneck in Mull, had each a chapel 
dedicated, it is believed, to St Senaic, otherwise Senan 
or Moshenoc, an Irish saint of the sixth century, whom 
Dr Todd and Bishop Reeves identify with St Kessog or 
Makkessoch, patron of Luss.* In Irish hagiology Senan 
often occurs as a name. In the * Martyrology of Donegal '^ 
twenty-two Senans are commemorated, a group of saints 
not easily distinguishable from one another. An ancient 
ecclesiastical site on Sanda island, Kintyre, is locally known 
as Kilmashenaghan or Cill-mo-senchain. On the main- 
land north of Sanda is the farm of Kilmashanachan, and 
adjoining it is Rudha M'Shannich, signifying, respectively, 
the Church and the Promontory of St Senan. In the latter 
name the honorific prefix has become changed into the 
patronymic according to a not uncommon process.* 

Kilmahunaig, anciently Kilmachummag or Kilchumnack, 
near Crinan, and Kilmahumaig at the head of Loch Gair, 
off Loch Fyne, are not easily interpreted. The ma is of 
course honorific; but who was the saint represented? 
Have we the same saint in Kilchamaig (otherwise Kil- 
chammak), in Kilcalmonell parish ? In this name Bishop 
Forbes finds that of St Commanus or Comanus, and Colonel 
White that of St Cormac,* the famous voyager. The latter 
etymology is less likely than the former, but it is not easy 
to interpret the name. 

Kilvick O'Charmaig, the former name of the extensive 
parish of Knapdale, is commonly said to mean the Church 
of the son of Charmaig or Cormac. Bishop Forbes makes 
Charmaig and Cormac different persons, but rather incon- 
sistently connects both with Kirkcormac in Kirkcudbright- 
shire. As indicated above, patronymic and honorific pre- 
fixes are sometimes mistaken for one another ; and in this 
case what seems to be the patronymic is probably the 

^ N. S. A., Inverness, p. 218. 

' Martyrology of Donegal, s,v, '* Moshennock." 

' Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Kintyre, pp. 82, 88. 

^ Ibid., p. 141. 


honorific prefix. This is all the more Ukely to be the case 
when we remember that among older forms of the name 
are Kilmakcorme (a.d. 1551), Kilmaharmuk (a.d. 1561), 
and Kilmachormuk (a.d. 1621). In Martin's time St 
Cormac was familiarly known in Islay as MacCharmig. In 
the case of Kilviceuen in Mull, Bishop Reeves holds that 
the prefix is patronymic. He says : " Kilviceun is Cill- 
mhic - Eogain, Ecclesia filii Eugenii. There is no Mac 
Eoghain in the Irish Calendar; but Ernan mac Eoghain, 
St Columba's nephew, is entered at Jan. i."^ In Ulva 
there is another Kilviceuen. 

Kilfinichen parish in Mull, now united to Kilviceuen, 
probably signifies the Church of St Findchan, one of 
Columba's monks. Cosmo Innes says: "The church, 
dedicated perhaps to Saint Fincana the Virgin, one of the 
nine daughters of Saint Dovenald, stood in the south of the 
parish, on the north shore of Loch Scriden.*'^ The Rev. 
J. B. Johnston does not entirely dismiss the claim of the 
maiden of the Den of Ogilvie, though on the whole he is 
inclined to champion that of the monk of lona.* St Find- 
chan appears in a curious light in the pages of Adamnan, 
by whom he is described as the founder of a monastery 
in Tiree. He is represented as having taken part in the 
unlawful ordination of a certain bloodthirsty man. In 
consequence of this act, Columba prophesied that Find- 
chan's right hand would decay away and precede him to 
the grave by many years — a prophecy which Adamnan says 
was duly fulfilled.* 

Murdoch — probably the St Mordouch invoked among 
the martyrs of the Dunkeld Litany — had a connection 
with the west country, if we may believe Dempster, who 
says that he was a hermit, and had a humble cell near a 
certain lake in Argyll, his cell being called Kilmurdah. 
Dempster further says that there was a life of the saint 
in nine lections, and that the events narrated in it were 
depicted on the walls of his cell. He is described as the 
last of the bards, and is said to have lived about 800 a.d.^ 

^ Adamnan, p. 243. ' O. P. S., vol. iv. p. 314. 

' Scottish Place-Names, s.v, '* Kilfinichen." 

* Adamnan, lib. i. cap. 36. ^ Hist. Eccl., vol. ii. p. 474. 


We find a trace of him on the east coast — not, however, in 
a kil — iii InverkeiUor parish, Forfarshire, as described by 
Jervise, who says: '*The ruins of the kirk of Ethie or 
S. Murdoch stand in a lonely and romantic spot near the 
cliffs east of the Redhead. Like the kirk of S. Skae and 
similarly situated places of worship, that of S. Murdoch 
possibly owed its origin to some recluse who had taken up 
his abode there with the view of affording succour to ship- 
wrecked sailors and pilgrims along the coast." ^ 

Bute was the chief seat of the cultus of St Catan and of 
his nephew St Blane, otherwise Blaan, who was trained in 
Ireland by Comgal and Kenneth, and afterwards returned 
to Bute, where he is said to have been born, and where he 
founded a monastery at Kilblane in Kingarth parish. Dr 
J. K. Hewison observes regarding the spot : " On Blaan's 
return to Bute he fixed upon a nook among the southern 
hills wherein to found the church that bears his name, and 
to rear the monastic establishment over which he presided. 
The site is cunningly disponed to bask in sunshine, while it 
has a prominent outlook over hill, dale, and sea. Behind is 
Suidhe Chatain (516 feet) ; before uprears the grassy Suidhe 
Bhlain (400 feet) — the favourite seat of the abbot, and near 
which, on the north slope, the country people pointed out 
a hollow in a stone which they said was the impression 
of his foot." 2 

In the same parish are Kilchattan Bay and the farms of 
Meikle and Little Kilchattan. On the latter farm is St 
Catan's Well, near the site, as Dr Hewison thinks, of the 
original church. '*The well is carefully built, and is ap- 
proached by some ten stone steps. It is now covered, but 
still in use."' In Inveraray parish is Kilblane, with an 
ancient burying-ground, in use till towards the end of the 
eighteenth century. In Kintjnre was the ancient parish of 
Kilblane, now included in Southend. Its church stood in 
the Conieglen valley ; but the site alone remains, all trace of 
church and burying-ground having disappeared by the end 
of the eighteenth century. About a couple of miles higher 
up the valley are the now ruined farmstead and hill of 

^ Epitaphs and Inscriptions, vol. i. p. 318. 

' Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 174. ' Ibid., p. 137, note. 



Kilchattan, near an old burying-ground with some slight 
remains of a wall, probably of a chapel.^ Kilchattan parish, 
now united to Kilbrandon, comprises the islands of Luing, 
Shuna, and Torsay, along with some smaller islands. The 
church of St Catan stood at the south end of Luing.* 

There is a Kilchattan in the island of Gigha, off the west 
coast of Kint3a'e. When describing the island, Muir says : 
" Supposing the visitor to be in pursuit more of things gray 
than of things green, his earliest inquiry will in all likelihood 
be for the ruined church of St Catan, perhaps the most 
interesting antiquity in the island. It is a roofless, though 
in other respects not much wasted, building, internally 33 
feet in length and 15 feet 2 inches in width. The door- 
way has apparently been on the south-west. Lying within 
the recess of the east window is the basin of a large 
octagonal font, the cavity circular, and, as is often the case, 
flat-bottomed; and in the burying-ground are some sculp- 
tured slabs and a broken cross 5 feet in length." ' Martin 
savs : " Near the west side the church there is a stone of 
about 16 Foot high, and 4 broad, erected upon the Eminence. 
About 60 yards distance from the Chappel there is a square 
stone erected about 10 Foot high; at this the antient In- 
habitants bowed, because it was there where they had the 
first View of the church." * 

The parish of Jura was formerly known as Kilearnadale 
and Kilchattan, and included Colonsay, on the west side 
of which is Kilchattan, where St Catan 's church was 
situated. St Catan is said to have resided for a time in a 
monastic house at Stomoway in the Lews. At Scarinche, 
in the same island, according to Spottiswood, a chapel was 
founded by the MacLeods in honour of St Catan ; and in it 
tradition says that his relics were preserved.* 

Kilearnadale in Jura, above named, was otherwise called 
Kilemadill. The name is difEcult to interpret. Martin 

1 Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Kintyre, pp. 89, 90. 
< O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 100. ' Eccles. Notes, p. 10. 

* Western Isles, p. 229. 

* For the connection of Catan with Clan Chattan vtde Introduction to 
Macpherson*s ''The Loyall Dissuasive," edited by the Rev. D. Murdoch 
(Scottish History Society) ; and Keith's 'Scottish Bishops,' p. 393. 


calls it Killearn. We have Killeam in Stirlingshire and 
Killern in Anwoth parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.^ With regard 
to the last - mentioned Killern, Sir Herbert Maxwell is 
doubtful whether it is a dedication to St Kieran or, as 
Timothy Font's rendering (Kill-orin) suggests, to St Oran, 
a contemporary of St Columba, who is remembered in 
Killoran in Colonsay.* 

Killearnan, a parish in Ross-shire, and Killearnan, a 
township in Kildonan parish, Sutherland, recall St Ernan. 
Near the latter, Killearnan, is Cnoc-Ernaini — i,e., St Ernan's 
Hill. It is difficult to say to which of the Ernans these two 
kils were dedicated. Bishop Forbes thinks that the Ross- 
shire one commemorates Ernan, a nephew of St Columba. 
Ernan of Rathnew, in Ireland, appears in the honorific dis- 
guise of Mernock or Marnock in the name of Kilmarnock in 
Ayrshire. In the ' Breviary of Aberdeen,* under date 25th 
October, is the festival " Sancti Mernoci epyscopi et con- 
fessoris patroni de Kilmernoch." * There is another Kil- 
marnock in Inverchaolain parish, Argyll. 

In the early part of the eighth century two missionaries — 
St Modan and St Ronan — preached in Scotland, and ac- 
cording to Skene were probably associated in the same 
mission. We find the former at Kilmodan in the Cowal 
district of Argyll. Regarding it Principal Story remarks: 
** The parish church, which, though a recent building, is on 
the ancient site, stands near the flat sandy shores of the 
Loch Riddon, where the Ruel, which gives its name to 
Glendaruel, discharges its shallow waters.*** The Rev. }• 
Maclachlan, minister of Kilmodan parish, writes: ''We 
have St Modan's well and chapel. The ruins of the chapel 
are on the hillside, about half a mile to the north-east of 
the present church. Tradition has it that the oldest grave- 
stones in the present churchyard were taken from the chapel 
ruins.** St Ronan can be traced in Kilmaronog in Muckairn 
parish, Argyll, and in Kilmaronock, a parish in Dumbarton- 

^ Mr Johnston says : *' All the Killems, with small likelihood, have been 
derived from St Cieran of Clonmacnoise (545) ; c lost by aspiration.** — 
' Scottish Place-names,' s.v, ** Killearn." 

* Gall. Top., s,v. "Killern." ' Adamnan, p. 251. 

* St Modan of Rosneath, p. 17. 


shire, both names showing the usual honorific prefix and 
suiBx. We find the same saint also in the east country — 
viz., at Kilmaron in Cupar parish, Fife. Near the eastern 
boundary of the lands of Kilmaron, the ruins of a small 
chapel were visible till towards the end of the eighteenth 
century.^ St Ronan is believed to have died as Abbot of 
Kingarth about the year 737. 

Probably about the same time there flourished a saint 
whose name appears in Hector Boece under the form of 
Glascianus. Boece says: — 

" Glacianus als of grit auctoritie, 
Ane archibischop and grit prechour wes he."^ 

The saint may have been a bishop, but he was certainly 
not an archbishop. He has left a trace of himself in Kil- 
maglass, otherwise Kilmalash — the old name of Strachur 
parish in the Cowal district of Argyll. About a century 
before the time of Glascianus our eastern coast was visited 
by St Boniface, who founded a church at Invergowrie, in 
the Carse of Cowrie. One of his followers was Pensandus, 
whose name is found in Kilspindie in the same district, and 
perhaps also in Kilspindie, near Aberlady, in East Lothian, 
where there is said to have been an early monastic 

* O. S. A., vol. xvii. p. 147. 

* Stewart's Metrical Translation, vol. ii. pp. j68, 569. 
' Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 520. 


KILS AND SAINTS — COnttfttied. 

KtUantrlngan — Kilmnian — KUmartin — Kilmachalmaig — KilmaichRe — Kil^ 
quonell — Kildonell — Ktlforman — KtUonquhar — Kilrenny — KUmaRsaig 
— Closehum — Kilmahog — Kilbartha — KUdorals — Kilvaxter — A«/- 
chrinan — Killevin — Ktlneuair — Killstay — Ai/- nam - braihmm - kill — 
Kilmorich — KUmaurs — Kilhucho — KUbagie — Kylmalduff — Kdnunmng 
— KUmany — KUnudRe — Ktlmadoci — KtldavU — JGIfinan — KiJwtntung 
— KiUenane — KillaUan — KdJUlan — Kdlylour — Kdchoan — Kddutlne — 
ICdduich — ICdbarr — KUmariey iffc, — CUlabhruic — Ktinde, 

St Ninian of Whithorn is to be found in Killantringan in 
Portpatrick parish, Wigtownshire; in the lands of Kil St 
Ninian in Girvan parish, Ayrshire ; and in Kil St Ninian in 
Urquhart and Glenmoriston parish, Inverness-shire, — styled 
in Gaelic Cill-an'Trinnetn, With regard to Kilninian in 
Mull, one would naturally infer, as Cosmo Innes does, that 
the name embodies that of the apostle of Galloway ; but an 
attempt has been made to find in it the name of Nennidius, 
a friend of St Bridget.^ In 1561 Kilninian was written 
" Kilnoening." 

The cultus of St Martin of Tours, as we saw in chap, iv., 
was introduced into Scotland by St Ninian in connection 
with the dedication of his Candida casa at Whithorn, and 
there is no doubt that St Martin was popular in our early 
Celtic Church, for we learn from Adamnan that at lona his 
name was remembered in the devotions of the monks,* In 
the ancient parish of Cullicudden in the Black Isle is KU- 
martin, where the original church of St Martin is believed 

^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 172, and Scottish Place-Names, s.v. "Kil- 
3 Life of St Columba, p. 86. 


to have stood. Kilmuir parish in Skye has a Kilmartin, and 
in Argyll is the parish of Kilmartin, containing a village of 
the same name, immediately to the north of which are the 
ruins of Kilmartin Castle, where the rectors of the parish 
are said to have resided.^ 

St Colman of Dromore in Ireland, who flourished circa 
500 A.D., has probably given his name to the farms of 
Colmac or Calmac in North Bute, styled till recently Kil- 
machalmaig. Writing in 1893, Dr J. K. Hewison remarks : 
" There are now no remains of the chapel which stood on 
East Colmac ; and the traces of the cemetery, visible at the 
end of last century, are totally obliterated now. One relic 
of this seat of worship alone survives in the massive flat- 
faced boulder of trap with its deeply incised cross preserved 
in a field."* In Kincardine parish, Sutherland, is Kil- 
machalmag, beside the river Oikel, where a chapel once 
stood. Kilchalman in North Uist seems also to have the 
name of St Colman, but without the honorific prefix and 

Manxmen visiting Scotland ought to turn their steps to 
Chapelton of Kilmaichlie, in Inveraven parish, on the Spey, 
for the kil there was dedicated to St Machalus, Maccald, or 
Maughold, familiar to them in Kirk Maughold and Maughold 
Head near Ramsey. Machalus led a wild life in Ireland 
till arrested by a miracle said to have been wrought by 
St Patrick. What happened thereafter is thus told by the 
Rev. S. Baring-Gould : " On asking what penance he should 
undergo for his crimes, St Patrick ordered him to quit Ire- 
land without taking an3rthing with him except a coarse 
garment, and entrusting himself in a leather coracle to land 
in the first place whither the wind wafted him, and there to 
serve God. He obeyed, and was carried by the winds to 
the Isle of Man, where he was kindly received by two 
bishops, Conindrus and Romulus, who directed him in his 
penances, and with so much spiritual advantage that he 
succeeded them as bishop of the island, and became re- 
nowned for his sanctity. He is called Maughold in the 
Isle of Man, and probably lies buried in the church that 

^ N. S. A., Argyll, p. 559. ' Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 116. 


bears his name, which is remarkable for some ancient 
sculptured crosses in the churchyard."^ 

In a charter of 1541 reference is made to Kilquhonell, 
on the lands of Ardstinchar in Carrick.^ The kil in question 
was evidently dedicated to St Connell, whose name occurs 
in several Kirkconnells in our south-western shires. Kil- 
donnell, near Campbeltown, is believed to commemorate 
St Donnel or Domhnuill, regarding whom we have no bio- 
graphical details. There is a Kilforman Cairn in Birnie 
parish, Elginshire, but the name is difficult to interpret.* 
Kilconquhar in Fife is also perplexing. The local pronun- 
ciation — Kintichar — does not help us. Conquhar may be 
Cunchar, otherwise Cunuchar, a thane of Angus; but is 
the prefix cill a church, or is it coillCy a wood, as Mr Liddall 
suggests ? An answer is not easy. 

Kilrenny, also in Fife, is another perplexing name. Mr 
Liddall thinks that it means " ferny wood." Various saints 
— e.g., St Ringan (Ninian), St Irenaeus of Lyons, and St 
Ethernan — have been suggested in connection with the 
naming of the church. The writer of the parish article in 
the ' O. S. A.' * remarks : " The name of this parish seems 
to be derived from the saint to whom the church was dedi- 
cated — viz., St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, whose fame 
for piety was at that time great throughout Christendom. 
What serves to confirm this origin of the name is that the 
fishermen who have marked out the steeple of this church 
for a mark to direct them at sea call it St Irnie to this day ; 
and the estate which lies close by the church is called Irnie- 
hill, but by the transposition of the letter i, Rinniehill. 
What adds to the probability of this interpretation is a 
tradition still existing here, that the devotees at Anstruther 
who could not see the church of Kilrenny till they travelled 
up the rising ground to what they called the Hill, then pulled 
off their bonnets, fell on their knees, crossed themselves, and 
prayed to St Irnie." 

Kilmalisaig, in North Knapdale parish, evidently embodies 
the same name as Eccles-Malesoch, the old name of 
Carluke parish, Lanarkshire, referred to in chap, iv., but it 

* Lives of the Saints, s,v, ** Maccald " (25th April). 

s R. M. S. '* N. S. A., Elgfin, p. 86. * Vol. i. p. 409. 


is difficult to discover the saint who is Hidden in the name. 
Closeburn parish, Dumfriesshire, written in the twelfth 
century " Kylosbern," is the church of St Osbern. Kil- 
mahog, near Callander, is the church of St Chug; and 
Kilbartha, the former name of the Aberdeenshire parish of 
Towie, looks like the church of St Bartha, but in all three 
cases biographical facts are lacking. It is also difficult to 
say much about names like Kildorais and Kilvaxter in Skye, 
Kilchrinan in Mull, Killevin (otherwise Killenewen) and 
Kilneuair in Glassary parish, Killstay in Kirkmaiden parish, 
and Kil-nam-brathairn-kill, the old name of Lochgoilhead 
parish. Kilmorich, now included in the last -mentioned 
parish, has been conjecturally associated with St Muredach 
— a bishop at Killala in Ireland, circa 440 a.d. ; ^ but we 
may with more probability find in it a reminiscence of 
Moroc, an abbot of Dunkeld, who gave name to the Mains 
of Kilmorick near Dowally, where is St Muireach's Well, 
and to Kilmorack parish, Inverness-shire, whose church 
stood near the falls of Kilmorack, on the river Beauly. In 
1521 Kilmorack was written " Kilmoricht." On Blaeu's 
map there is a " Kilnamoraik,*' close to Loch Lochy. 

St Maura and St Beya were virgins who, according to 
Adam King's Calendar, flourished during the second half 
of the ninth century. Maura used to visit Beya in Little 
Cumbrae, where the latter lived in solitude, "surrounded 
by beasts and birds," where she was buried, and where the 
remains of her chapel are still visible. She was honoured 
at Dunbar, where the Collegiate Church was dedicated to 
her.* A hint of her is still to be met with at Dunbar in the 
name of Bey's Well Park, a terrace facing the sea, in the 
neighbourhood of a spring dedicated to her. Maura is 
found in the name of Kilmaurs in Ayrshire, regarding which 
the authors of *The Arms of the Baronial and Police 
Burghs of Scotland*' observe: "It may be worth while 
mentioning for the benefit of those interested in hagiology, 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 82, note ; and Scottish Place-Names, s.v, '< Kil- 

^ In the ' Register of St Giles ' (p. 224) we read, ''Johannes Quhyte preben- 
darius de Petcokis in ecclesia Collegtata Sancte Baye Virginis de Dunbar." 

« P. 286, 


that Kilmaurs is said to be the only church dedicated to 
the virgin Maura dissociated from Baya. Maura is said to 
have died at Kilmaurs, and Baya in the Little Cumbrae, 
of which she is generally regarded as the patroness. Their 
feast will be found on November 3 in the 'Aberdeen 
Breviary/ where it is also said that Baya is specially 
honoured at Dunbar. In the diocese of Beauvais there is 
a festival on July 13 in honour of Maura and Brigida, who 
are there styled martyrs, with a vague statement that they 
were Northumbrian, and their identity or otherwise with 
the patroness of Kilmaurs and her friend may supply an 
interesting subject for study." St Begha — a different 
person from Beya — ^was an abbess in the seventh century. 
She is to be found south of the Tweed in St Bees in Cum- 
berland and in Beaminster in Dorset ; while in Scotland we 
find her in Kilbucho in Peeblesshire, an ancient parish now 
united to Broughton and Glenholm. There are traces of 
the old church, close to which is St Bees' Well, at one time 
held in reverence. Cosmo Innes remarks: "The church 
lies near the eastern extremity of the parish, not far from 
the mouth of the Kilbucho burn, where doubtless it was 
planted in early times. It was dedicated to Saint Begha, 
the virgin whose festival was kept by the Scottish Church 
on the day of her deposition, the thirty-first of October. 
She was of Irish birth, but, passing into Britain, became the 
disciple of Saint Aidan and of Saint Hilda, in whose convent 
at Whitby her relics were preserved until the sixteenth 
century." ^ St Begha is probably also to be found in Kil- 
bagie in Clackmannanshire, and in Kilbegie — a glebe con- 
nected in 1587 with the vicarage of Kilmakocharmik in 
North Knapdale. Kilbag-head in Lochs parish may recall 
either St Beya or St Begha.^ 

The lands of Kylemagage, near Loch Leven, are referred 
to by Bishop Forbes in connection with a Fife retour, and 
he thinks that the name embodies that of St Gaius, one of 
the companions of St Adrian, said to have been martyred 
by the Danes on the Isle of May in the year 875.' Inver- 
aray parish, or at least part of it, was styled Kylmalduff in 

1 O. P. S., vol. i. p. 177. » Kal., s.v. " Begha »' and "Beya.** 

» Ibid., f.ff. "Gaius." 


1304 and Kilmalew in 1529, the second being in all likeli- 
hood an altered form of the first, through the loss of the 
d by aspiration. Both forms seem to point to MalduflF, — 
believed to have been from Ireland, — who was so molested 
by robbers that he fled into England. After various 
wanderings he settled at a place called Ingelbourne Castle, 
where he gathered round him a monastic establishment, 
the nucleus of the present Wiltshire town of Malmesbury,^ 
in whose name the first syllable of Malduff is embedded. 

Kilminning, in Crail parish, Fife, indicates St Monan or 
Monyn, whose name appears in St Monans in the same 
county. The writer of the article on Crail parish in the 
* N. S. A.' * remarks : ** There was no doubt a cell or chapel 
dedicated to St Minin or Monan at Kilminning farm, the 
corn-yard of which is still full of graves, like a regular 
burying-ground." Kilmany, in the north of the county, 
written " Kylmanyn ** in 1250, is thought by Mr Johnston 
to have been probably a dedication to St Monan. Mr 
Liddall thinks that the name means Wood of Maine, 
ancestor of the Irish tribe of Hy Maine.* Kilmeny in 
Islay is difficult to interpret. 

Kilmallie in Lochaber, written in 1296 Kilmalyn, and 
Kilmallie, the ancient name of Golspie parish, Sutherland, 
written in 1471 Culmalin, probably both record the name 
of St Moling. With regard to the latter instance, Mr 
E. W. B. Nicholson says: "Who was St Malin? His 
name is unknown in that form. But I believe I have found 
him in the celebrated Irish saint commonly known as 
Moling, who died in 697, and who is called Maling in a MS. 
so near to his own time as the eighth century.'* * Kilmallie 
church was the parish church of Golspie till 1619, when it 
was superseded by the chapel of St Andrew at what is now 
the town of Golspie, about two miles distant. At the 
hamlet of Kilmallie are traces of the ancient church, with 
a graveyard containing the tombs of many of the Earls of 
Sutherland.^ St Moling adopted a monastic life, and was 

* Appendix, F. : Taylor's * Names and their Histories,' s,v, " Malmsbury." 

• Fife, p. 966. 

' Liddall's Fife and Kinross Place-Names, 5. v. *' Kilmany." 

^ Golspie, p. 268. '^ N. S. A., Sutherland, p. 33. 



the founder of Teghmoling, now St Mullen's in county 
Carlow. He was bishop of Ferns in Wexford during the 
last six years of his life.^ 

Another Irish saint who was bishop at the same place, 
though at an earlier date, was Aidan, or, with the honorific 
prefix and suffix, Madoc or Modoc.* He was born in 558, 
and died in 625. He spent a considerable time in Wales, 
and was one of the disciples of St David. Indeed, he was 
so identified with the Principality that he was regarded as 
almost a Welshman. The Perthshire parish of Kilmadock, 
where stand the picturesque ruins of Doune Castle, is 
commonly said to bear his name.* There is another St 
Madoc, a Welshman, whose church in the Principality is 
Llanmadoc, in Glamorganshire. It is presumably to this 
saint that Skene alludes when he attributes the dedication 
of Kilmadock to Modocus through the influence of the 
Welsh Calendar, though it may possibly be the first-men- 
tioned St Modoc to whom he refers.* There is, however, 
a difficulty in connecting the name of St Madoc, whether 
the Irish or the Welsh saint, with Kilmadock, and that is 
the pronunciation of the name, the stress of the voice 
being on the ultimate and not on the penultimate syllable. 
One is therefore tempted to regard the ma, not as part of 
a saint's name, but as the common honorific prefix, leaving 
dock to be accounted for. According to this view, Kilmadock 
would thus be the Church of my Dock. But who was St 
Dock ? The church of Cambuslang had St Cadocus as its 
titular, an abbreviated form of whose name is Docus, to 
be found probably in the Cornish parish of Ladoc or 
Landoc — ue,, the Church of St Docus. We learn from 
the life of the saint that he spent some years in Central 
Scotland; and it seems reasonable to conclude that he 
left his name in Kilmadock.^ 

In Kintyre is Kildavie, regarding which Colonel White 

^ Baring-Gould's Lives of the Saints, s.v. ** Moling-" (17th June). 

' Vide an Article on St Modoc by Bishop Reeves in 'Transactions of 
Royal Irish Academy,' vol. viii. p. 446. 

' Scotland in Eariy Christian Times, vol. i. p. 245, note. 

* Celtic Scotland, vol. ii. p. 193, note. 

' Ree's Cambro-British Saints, p. 350; and Boriase's The Age of the 
Saints, p. 146. 


observes: "In the name of Kildavie, which is found at- 
tached to a group of farms a little to the north of S. Coivin's, 
we may perhaps trace a dedication to an ancient Irish 
ecclesiastic, Davius — if not, as might have been imagined, 
to the renowned Welsh saint, David." ^ On the whole, one 
is inclined to conclude that this Kildavie, like Kildavie in 
Mull, recalls the Irish rather than the Welsh saint; while 
the reverse may perhaps be said of Cill Daidh, an ancient 
burying-ground in Weem parish, Perthshire, referred to in 
chap. iii. 

Kilfinnan parish, in the Cowal district of Argyll, com- 
memorates St Finan ; but there is some difficulty in 
deciding to which saint of that name its church was 
dedicated. Cosmo Innes says : " The church appears to 
have been dedicated to St Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 
who flourished about the year 650."* Bishop Forbes 
ascribes it to Finan, otherwise Finian, a saint of Irish 
birth, who died circa 575, and from whom he thinks 
Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire derived its name.^ Another 
Finan founded a monastery at Clonard in Meath, where 
he had St Columba as one of his pupils. St Finan, another 
of Columba's teachers, and founder of the monastery of 
Maghbile in county Down, went to Italy and became 
Bishop of Lucca, where he was known as St Frigidianus. 
He died circa 579. Bishop Reeves identifies him with 
St Vynninus, otherwise Wynnin, who, according to the 
* Aberdeen Breviary,' was buried at a place called Kilwynne 
— i.e., Kilwinning, in Ayrshire, where was St Wynning's 
Well, and where a stately abbey was reared in honour of 
St Wynning and St Mary by Hugh de Morville, Lord of 
Cunninghame, about the middle of the twelfth century. 

In the northern parish of Dunlichity there was till 1643 
" ane Idolatrous Image called St Finane, keepit in a 
private house obscurely," regarding which Mr William 
Mackay writes: "The image called St Finane, which the 
Protestant people of Dunlichity worshipped as late as the 
year 1643, deserved a better fate than burning at the 
market cross of Inverness after sermon. Probably the 

^ Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Kintyre, p. 89. 

« O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 49. » Kal., s.v. "Finan." 


ministers who did the baming did not know that they were 
destro)dng the last representation, rude and imaginary 
though it might be, of one of the most earnest evangelists 
of the early Celtic Church."^ The festival of St Finan 
of Clonard, mentioned above, falls in December. When 
discussing Highland lore, the Rev. J. G. Campbell says: 
" St Finan's Eve is the longest night in the year, and 
hence it is said of a very stupid person, * He is as dark as 
the night of St Finan, and that night is pretty dark.'"* 

In Inverchaolain parish is a place variously called 
Killenane and Killelane, the first form embodying, accord- 
ing to Cosmo Junes, St Finan, and the second St Fillan, 
the / being lost through aspiration in both cases. We find 
St Fillan's name in Killellan, an estate near Campbeltown ; 
in Killallan, a Renfrewshire parish (now united to Houston) 
containing the ruined church of St Fillan, anciently the 
property of Paisley Abbey;' and in Killellan, near Loch- 
alsh, in Ross -shire. It is curious, in connection with 
the Inverchaolain example just mentioned, that, in the 
' Registrum de Passelet,' Killallan is written " Kyllinan." 
In Islay is Killinallin, which. Captain Thomas thinks, is 
either " Cillean n' Fhaelan, St Faelan's Church, or Cillean 
Fhaelain, little Church of St Faelan." * Galloway has two 
Kilfillans — viz., the church of KilfiUan on PenkUnburn in 
Sorbie parish, and KilfiUan farm in Old Luce parish. Sir 
Herbert Maxwell suggests that Killylour in Kirkpatrick- 
Irongray parish is perhaps Cill an-lobhair — i.e., St Fillan 
the Leper's Church, this being the saint who gave name to 
St Fillans at the foot of Loch Earn.* 

In the district of Lochalsh, where Killellan just named 
is situated, another kil — viz., Kilchoan, i.e., St Congan's 
Church — is to be found. Congan was uncle of Fillan, being 
brother of Kentigerna, the latter's mother. The Rev. S. 
Baring- Gould remarks: "St Congan, more correctly 
Comgan, was the son of a prince of Leinster, and was in 
youth trained as a soldier. On succeeding his father he 

^ Inverness and Dingivall Presbytery Records, Intro., p. xxxvi. 

' Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Scottish Highlands, p. 289. 

' Crawfurd's History of Renfrewshire, p. 103. 

* P. S. A, Scot., vol. xvi. p. 267. * Gall. Top., s.v. ** Killylour." 


governed his dominions with prudence and rectitude; but 
on being attacked by his neighbours he was conquered and 
obliged to fly, wounded in the foot by an arrow. The 
expulsion of Congan from his kingdom led also to that 
of his sister and her sons. Accordingly Congan, with 
Kentigerna and her son Fillan, and seven clerks, betook 
themselves to Lochelch, where they led a severe life. After 
the death of his uncle, St Fillan built a church in his 
honour, and buried him in lona."^ Among other kils 
recalling St Congan may be mentioned Kilchoan in Kil- 
tearn parish; Kilchoan in Knoydart; Kilchoan in Ardna- 
murchan, where the ruins of the ancient church stand on 
the bank of a small stream flowing into Kilchoan Bay ; Kil- 
choan in Kilbrandon and Kilchattan parish ; and Kilchonan 
in the Braes of Rannoch, where the burying-ground of St 
Congan's church remains, though the church has vanished. 

St Duthac, whose shrine at Tain was the goal of many 
a mediaeval pilgrimage, had two kils bearing his name. 
One of these, mentioned by Bishop Forbes, is Kilduthie, 
near the Loch of Leys — a large sheet of water in Banchory- 
Ternan parish, drained about the middle of last century ; 
the other is Kilduich, situated at the head of Loch Duich, 
in Kintail parish, Ross-shire, loch and church having both 
borrowed the name of the saint. 

St Finbar, or more shortly Barr, patron of Cork in 
Ireland, was popular also in Scotland. His name, as 
Bishop Reeves explains, means literally "white head," in 
allusion to the colour of his hair.* The *Martyrology of 
Aberdeen ' says that he was a bishop in Caithness, and 
that he died there. His death is believed to have occurred 
circa 623. When the Cathedral of Caithness was founded 
at Dornoch, in the first half of the thirteenth century, the 
building was dedicated to St Finbar ; and it is interesting 
to note that the church of Fowey in Cornwall, at the other 
extremity of our island, was also dedicated to him.* 

At the north end of Barray is Kilbarr, an ancient ecclesi- 

^ Lives of the Saints, vol. x. p. 325. 
3 Adamnaiiy p. 266. 

' In 1336 the church of Fowey was rebuilt and re-dedicated, St Nicholas 
supplanting* St Finbar. — Vide Borlase's ' The Age of the Saints,' p. 129. 


astical site consisting of three ruined churches or chapels 
grouped together in an unenclosed burying-ground ; while 
not far off are the foundations of another place of worship.^ 
One of these must have been the church on whose altar, as 
Martin tells us, the wooden image of St Barr used to stand 
" covered with Linen in form of a shirt." Martin adds the 
following local tradition : " * The inhabitants having begun 
to build the church, which they dedicated to him, they laid 
this Wooden Image within it; but it was invisibly trans- 
ported (as they say) to the Place where the Church now 
stands, and found there every morning.' This miraculous 
conveyance is the Reason they give for desisting to work 
where they first began." * After referring to the image, the 
writer on Barray parish in the 'N. S. A.** observes: "We 
are credibly informed that it was customary for persons 
proceeding on a journey to make some present to the 
saint of clothes or linen to ensure prosperity to their under- 

Bishop Reeves remarks : " Next to St Columcille there is 
no ecclesiastic of the ancient Scottish Church whose com- 
memorations are more numerous in the west of Scotland 
than St Maelrubha, or whose history is marked with greater 
exactness in the main particulars of his life. He was born 
on the 3rd of January in the year of our Lord 642. On his 
father's side he was eighth in descent from Niall of the 
Nine Hostages, Sovereign of Ireland. Our saint, following 
the national usage of family association, became a member 
of St Comgall's society at Bangor. His connection with 
this place seems to have been kept up even after he fixed 
his seat in Scotland, and his principal church in that 
country was regarded as an affiliation of Bangor. In the 
year 671 Maelrubha, being now twenty-nine years old, with- 
drew from his native country to Alba, following in the wake 
of St Columba and others of his nation. Two years expired 
before he obtained a permanent settlement ; but in 673, as 
Tighernach relates, ' Maelrubha fundavit ecclesiam Apor- 
crosan.' Here he continued to exercise his abbatial office 
for fifty-one years, during which time he founded a church 

^ Muir's Eccles. Notes, pp. 281, 282. ^ Western Isles, p. 92. 

' Inverness, p. 206. 


on an island in a lake of Ross-shire which takes its name of 
Loch Maree from him ; and he acquired so great a reputa- 
tion for sanctity that he was regarded as the patron saint 
of this part of Scotland, whence he extended his influence 
both in islands and on the mainland. In 722 he closed 
his labours."^ 

St Maelrubha's name has undergone a great variety of 
curious changes, as explained by Bishop Reeves, who cites 
nearly forty different forms, including such extremes as 
Arrow and Summereve, the latter combining both name 
and title. Some of these changes show themselves in con- 
nection with the kik bearing his name. Thus Kilmarie in 
the south-west of Strath parish, Skye, where there are the 
remains of a chapel, is Maelrubha's, not Mary's, church ; 
and the same may be said of Kilvary in Muckairn parish, 
six and a half miles north-east of Oban, near the road to 
Loch Etive. Kilmorie, the ancient name of Stralachlane 
parish, united to Strachur in 1650, is believed by Bishop 
Reeves to be Maelrubha's church. He also holds that the 
church of Kilmorie (the ancient name of Craignish parish), 
which is called in a Retour " Kilmalrew," was under the 
same invocation. Regarding Maelrubha's name Professor 
Mackinnon remarks : *' In its contracted form the name has 
sometimes been confounded with Mary. In Gaelic Mary is 
Moire; and the church of Mary is Cille-Mhoire, Englished 
' Kilmory's.' Besides, the accent is always on the penult — 
Kilmory ; whereas in the case of the contracted Maolrubha 
the accent falls on the final syllable." ^ 

In Islay is the parish of Killarrow, now united to Kil- 
meny. Its church stood about the centre of the island, and 
there is no doubt that Maelrubha was its titular ; for among 
many variants of its name may be mentioned Kilmolrow in 
1500 A.D. Blaeu marks a Kilmolruy in Bracadale, Skye. 
Dr Reeves says in connection with it : '* St Assint was the 
patron saint of Bracadale proper. The annual tryst is in 
September, probably the early part, new style, or the close 
of August, old style — that is, about St Maree's day." His 

' P. S. A. Scot., vol. ill. pp. 261, 262. The account, ut supra, has been 
somewhat abbreviated. 
^ Scotsman, Article No. ix. 


day was on the 27th of August. Arasaig parish, now united 
to Ardnamurchan, had a church formerly styled " Kilmolroy 
in Arisik/' recalling, like those mentioned above, the patron 
saint of Applecross. 

Two kits may be mentioned in conclusion which, though 
not to be found on our maps, are or were familiar to 
many acquainted with Gaelic. These are Kilrule — i.e., the 
Church of St Rule or Regulus, applied by Highlanders to 
St Andrews; * and Cilia Bhruic — t.^., St Brioc's Church, used 
to designate the parish of Rothesay in Bute, where a fair 
is still held on what is called "Bruix Day,"* 

^ O. S. A., vol. xiii. p. 188. Bellenden says : '* He [Kenneth] translatit 
the bischoppis sete of Abimethy to the kirk of Sanct Reule ; quhilk was 
namit efter the kirk of Sanct Andros.'* — 'Chronicles,' vol. ii. p. 165. 

^ Hewison's Bute in the Olden Time, pp. 16, 100. 



Kil and kirk — Distribution of kirk — Kiriton — Kirkland — KirkhiUf isfc, — 
Kirkcaims — Halkirk — Kirkholm — Kirkness — Kirkden — Kirkcaldy — 
Kirkurd — Kirkstyle — Kirkskdth — Wheelkirk — Kirks of Eskdale — 
IVesteriirk — Kirkstead^ iffc. — Kirkball and Glenkirk — Kirkwood — 
" Ktrkwodheid'' —Ashkirk— Woodkirk^Hobkirk— Ktrkh(fe— Ktrk- 
Tetholm — KirkMston — Kirk Bortbwick — Kirkfortbar — Muirkirk^ iffc. 
—Prestonkirk—Kirk<tvaU—Ktrksidey ^c.—Redkirk — Wbitekirk— 
Falkirk— '' Auld Ktrk "— « Nnv Ktrk ''—Ktrk Newton. 

Kil and kirk have practically the same meaning. The one, 
as we have seen, is from Latin cella; the other is from 
Greek Kvpuucov, the neuter adjective from Kvpcoq, the Lord. 
This etymology is accepted by Skeat, who holds that the 
Icelandic kirkja is borrowed from the Anglo-Saxon cyrice or 
cirice, whence we have kirk. Sir Herbert Maxwell remarks, 
"The Gael borrowed the A.S. drc or the Norse kirkja.'*^ 
This borrowing, however, was not frequent. Sometimes a 
place was kil first and afterwards kirk. Thus Kilmabreck 
became Kirkmabreck; and Kildominie, Kirkdominie: but 
kil was not always superseded, as the existing kiky already 
referred to, amply show. 

Regarding kirk south of the Tweed, Canon Taylor says : 
"We find the prefix kirk, a church, in the names of no less 
than sixty-eight places in the Danelagh, while in the Saxon 
portion of England we find it scarcely once." ^ In the Isle 

^ Land -Names, p. 174. For examples of kirk not signifying church 
viile Appendix, G. 
^ Words and Places, p. 357. 

122 KIRKS. 

of Man, where Norse influence was strong, ''all the parish 
churches, with two exceptions, have the prefix kirk" ^ 

A group of houses close to the site of a church is often 
known as Kirkton — i.c., kirk town, fi-om A.S. tun, a home- 
stead or enclosure, corresponding, as we shall see in chap. 
xxix., to Kirkby and Kirby in England. A division of land 
pertaining to a church was naturally called the kirkland or 
the kirklands. The kirklands of Cavers were reckoned 
synonymous with the parish of Cavers;* but, as a rule, 
the name was given to only a portion of a parish. Kirk- 
land is a village in Wemyss parish, Fife, on the river 
Leven. Kirkland, called also Kirkfieldbank, is a village 
in Lesmahagow parish on the Clyde, one mile west of 
Lanark. Near it once stood a chapel known as the Chapel 
of Greenrig. There is a Kirkland hamlet in Kirkcudbright 
parish, less than a mile from the ruined kirk of the ancient 
parish of Galtway, united to Kirkcudbright about 1683. 
There are various other places called Kirkland or Kirklands, 
mainly in the southern half of Scotland, At Dumfries, 
near the Moat Brae, is Kirkland Moat, a mound on the 
left bank of the Nith, believed to be artificial.' 

We find Kirklandhill in the parishes of Maybole and 
Kirkmichael (Dumfriesshire). In the latter is also Kirkhill, 
corresponding in meaning to Kirklaw, a farm in Skirling 
parish. Kirknow — t.e., the Knoll of the Church — is a village 
in Cambusnethan parish, on the high ground close to the 
kirk, built about 1649, when the still older structure, whose 
ruins are yet visible near the Clyde two and a half miles to 
the west, was deserted.^ Kirkhill is an estate in Meams 
parish, Renfrewshire. The kirk of Meams was granted 
during the second half of the twelfth century to Paisley 
Abbey, and continued to be its property till the Reformation. 

The parishes of Kilmadock and Strathaven have each a 
Kirkhill. The estate of Belmont, in Meigle parish, noted 
for its fine old trees, was known as Kirkhill till about 1770, 
and was anciently the occasional residence of the bishops of 
Dunkeld.'^ There is a village of Kirkhill on the North Esk, 

^ Moore's Surnames and Place-Names of the Isle of Man, p. 280. 
^ N. S. A., Roxburgh, p. 429. > Ibid., Dumfries, p. 11. 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 709. ^ N. S. A., Perth, p. 233. 


KIRKS. 123 

half a mile north-east of Penicuik, Mid-Lothian, recalling 
the ancient kirk of St Mungo. Kirkhill is the original 
village of Cambuslang parish, Lanarkshire, and points to 
the kirk of St Cadoc that stood on the bank of a rapid 
rivulet, called from it the Kirk Burn. In Uphall parish, 
Linlithgowshire, is Kirkhill mansion, half a mile from Brox- 
burn, and about 700 yards from the ancient kirk of St 
Nicholas, whose bell, bearing date 1441, was removed to the 
new church at Uphall.^ Kirkhill Castle is near Colmonell, 
Ayrshire ; and Kirkhill House is in Cockpen parish, on the 
South Esk, a mile and a half from Gorebridge. St Andrews 
has a Kirkhill, formerly called Kirkheugh, where, as Dr D. 
Hay Fleming tells us, "the Celtic Church had an early 
settlement : but little remains now except the foundations 
of the church and some portions of the walls."* In the 
north of Inverness-shire is Kirkhill parish, comprising the 
ancient parishes of Wardlaw and Farnua. There is a 
farm of Kirkhill near Ellon in Aberdeenshire. Kirkgill, 
in Crawford parish, is the Glen of the Church, from 
Scandinavian gil, a narrow valley. 

Kirk is further found in such names as Kirkside, an estate 
in St Cyrus parish, Kincardineshire ; Kirkfield, an estate in 
Lesmahagow parish; and Kirkbank, an estate and a rail- 
way-station near the Teviot in Eckford parish, Roxburgh- 
shire. The kirk of Eckford is beautifully situated near the 
Teviot, not far from its junction with the Kale. From the 
* N. S. A.' * we learn that the ancient church-bell of Eckford 
now hangs in the belfry of Carham in Northumberland, 
whither it is believed to have been taken in the sixteenth 
century. Kirkdale is an ancient parish of Kircudbright- 
shire, annexed in 1636 partly to Anwoth but chiefly to 
Kirkmabreck. Its church, dedicated to St Michael, stood 
half a mile below Kirkdale mansion. There is a Kirkidale 
in South Uist, on the south shore of Loch Eynort. 

Kirklane, in the Kirkcudbrightshire parish of Kelton, 
signifies the Stream of the Church, lane being, according 
to Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, a brook of which the 
motion is so slow as to be scarcely perceptible. Another 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 886, note. ' Guide to St Andrews, p. 75. 

' Roxburgh, p. 223, note. 

124 KIRKS. 

instance of the same word occurs in Kirkgunzeon Lane — 
i,e., the stream of Kirkgunzeon parish flowing into the Urr 
near Dalbeattie. In Peeblesshire is the ancient parish of 
Kailzie, now part of Traquair. Its church, dedicated to the 
Virgin, stood beside a stream called from it the Kirkbum, 
flowing into the Tweed. There is a Kirk rivulet in Mearns 
parish, Renfrewshire. Kirk- Loch, in Lochmaben parish, 
Dumfriesshire, is a sheet of water recalling the old church 
of the parish — a Gothic structure dedicated to St Mary 
Magdalene, but removed in 1818 prior to the building of 
the present church on another site. 

What is now called Glencairn, in Auchindoir and Kearn 
parish, Aberdeenshire, was at one time known as Kirkcairns. 
When the church of Auchindoir was to be built, a proposal 
was made to erect it at Kirkcairns ; but the virgin to whom 
the structure was to be dedicated expressed her preference 
for the site where it was actually reared. Such at least was 
the local belief, according to Jervise, who remarks: "But 
for the warning voice of the virgin, who appears to have 
been a good judge both of locality and soil, the kirk would 
have been placed in an obscure, sterile district." ^ 

In Caithness are the village and parish of Halkirk, the 
latter comprising the ancient parishes of Halkirk, dedicated 
either to St Fergus or St Catherine, and Skinnet to St 
Thomas. In 1222 Halkirk was written " Hakirk," in 1274 
" Haukyrc," and in 1504 " Haikrik." Mr Johnston inter- 
prets it as signifying High Church, and thinks that the / 
is probably due to association with Icelandic Aa//-r, a slope.' 
Pennant says: "As the Bishop of Caithness lived of old 
at Halkirk, his chapel was called St Kathrin, of which there 
is no vestige left but a heap of rubbish." * Holm means an 
island, or a meadow by a river. Kirkholm is in the parish 
of Sandsting and Aithsting, Shetland, where there is also 
Kirkness, the Church Headland. There is another Kirk- 
holm — a small estate in Kirkpatrick-Irongray parish, Kirk- 
cudbrightshire — not far from the glebe. Kirkcaldy in Fife 
is difficult to interpret. Kircaladinit and Kirkaldin are 
old forms. Mr Johnston thinks that the name is "prob- 

^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. viii. p. 329. 

* Scottish Place-Names, s.v. " Halkirk." ' Tour, vol. i. p. 343. 

KIRKS. 125 

ably from Gaelic cola dion or dion-ait^ harbour of refuge, 
or with the refuge-place," the first syllable being probably 
Gaelic cathair, a fort, pronounced kar or kair»^ Mr Liddall 
makes it the fort of Calaten, whose sons were famous 
magicians, mentioned in the Book of Leinster.^ Kirkden 
parish, Forfarshire, was anciently called Idvies. Its church 
stands in a dell or den. From Jervise* we learn that the 
kirk, consecrated ist September 1243, formerly stood upon 
the lands of Gask, in a field still called the Kirkshade, from 
which it was removed to Vinny Den towards the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century. There is a Kirkdean in 
Kirkurd parish, Peeblesshire. The derivation of Kirkurd 
itself is uncertain. Mr Johnston thinks that it may be 
** possibly from a man, or from Gaelic ord, a steep rounded 
height."* In the second half of the twelfth century it was 
known as EccUsia de Orda. In the neighbourhood are 
Ladyurd and Netherurd. 

Kirkstyle occurs as a place-name. Lands so called are 
mentioned in the year 1603 as situated in the parish of 
Oxnam, Roxburghshire.® The Kirkstyle of Ruthwell was 
a chapel belonging to the knights of St John, situated about 
a mile from the parish church.^ There are now no remains 
of the building. We find a Kirkstyle in Ewes parish, 
Dumfriesshire, and another in Carluke parish, Lanarkshire, 
which was created a burgh of barony by Charles II. in 1662. 
The ground west of the churchyard — the original market- 
place of Carluke — was known as Kirkstyle Muir.^ Sir 
William Fraser tells us that *' John Leslie feued in the year 
1567 to his brother, Bughaine, certain lands near Avoch, 
including Kirkskeith." * Near Tain is Kirksheaf. Both 
these names indicate land given as tribute to the church, 
from Icelandic skatt-r, Danish skat, Old Eng. sceat, a scat — 
i.e., a coin, hence a tax.® Wheelkirk stood near the source 
of the Liddel in Roxburghshire, close to an ancient road 

1 Scottish Place-Names, s.v. " Kirkcaldy." 

» Place-Names of Fife and Kinross, s,v, "Kirkcaldy." 

' Memorials, vol. ii. p. 226. * Scottish Place-Names, s.v. "Kirkurd." 

' O. P. S., vol. i. p. J9I* • N. S. A., Dumfries, p. 228. 

"^ Carluke, p. 230. ^ The^Earls of Cromartie, vol. ii. p. 499. 

' Scottish Place-Names, s.v. " Kirksheaf." 

126 KIRKS. 

called the " Whele Causey," which gave name to the church. 
According to Chalmers, this causeway was the continuation 
into Teviotdale of the ancient road known as the ** Maiden- 
way," leading from Maiden Castle on Stanmore in Westmor- 
land.^ The lands of Liddesdale included Over and Nether 
Wheel-kirk and Wheel-land. 

In the same district are the lands of the Five Kirks of 
Eskdale, granted by James V. to Lord Maxwell to reward 
him for his services in bringing Mary of Guise from France 
as the king's bride.* Westerkirk — one of these kirks — is 
thought to have been so called because it was the most 
westerly of the five, but with more probability the name 
may be traced to the Manor of Wester Caer, near the 
hamlet of Westerker on Megget Water, close to its junction 
with the Esk. Westerker would easily become Westerkirk.* 
On the farm of Elfgill is Eastercaer. There was an ancient 
parish of West Kirk in Westray island, Orkney, now in- 
cluded in the parish of Westray and Papa- Westray. 

In Yarrow parish, Selkirkshire, is Kirkstead* — i.e., the 
Place of the Church ; and in Brechin parish, Forfarshire, 
is a large piece of land called Kirkshade, ''shade" being 
a shed or division of land. Between the lands of Caldhame 
and Unthank, also in Brechin parish, is a piece of ground 
described in 1578 as that croft of outfield land called of old 
the " Kirk Dor Keyis " — i.e., Kirk Door Keys.^ In Mor- 
dington parish, Berwickshire, is a field known as Kirk- 
park where the parish church once stood. Glenholm parish, 
Peeblesshire, has a Kirkhall and a Glenkirk. Kirkwood, 
near Coatbridge, speaks to us of the church in relation to 
trees, and so do the lands of Kirkwodheid in Kirkton parish, 
Roxburghshire. The parish of Carluke, in Lanarkshire, was 
at one time known as Forest Kirk, its church having been 
built in the forest of Mauldslie. From the ash-tree comes 
the name of Ashkirk in Selkirkshire. The church of 
Thankerton in Lanarkshire was at one time known as 

* Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 92. ■ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 359. 
' N. S. A., Dumfries, p. 429. 

^ In Lincolnshire is the parish of Kirkstead, where a Cistercian abbey 
was founded in X139. 

* Reg. Brech., vol. ii. p. 321. 

KIRKS. 127 

Woodkirk. In 1180 it was called " Ecclesia de uilla Thaa- 
card! scilicet Wdekyrch."^ A valley is brought before us 
in the name of Hobkirk, anciently Hopekirk, a Teviotdale 
parish of Roxburghshire, and in Kirkhope a farm on the 
Ettrick in Selkirkshire, where, as we learn from the 
* N. S. A.,' * " the place of an old kirk steading is still visited ; 
its site is so covered with grass and moss, however, that 
its dimensions are barely discernible." The one means 
the valley church, and the other the church valley. Hope, 
aptly described by Professor Veitch as **one of the com- 
monest and sweetest of our names,"* signifies primarily 
a harbour or haven, and secondarily, a valley, particularly 
a sheltered one. Two of the church-lands in Hownam 
parish were respectively Kirkhope and Kirkrow.* 

Kirk-Yetholm in Roxburghshire — the headquarters of the 
Scottish gipsies — means the Gate Hamlet of the Church, as 
it was the gate between Scotland and England.^ The 
village consists of two parts — Town-Yetholm on the left 
bank of Bowmont Water, and Kirk-Yetholm on its right 
bank. Edward I. spent two days at Yetholm in 1304, on 
his way back to England ; and Douglas is said to have 
made the kirk his trysting-place before the battle of Otter- 
burn in 1388. After Flodden many Scottish nobles are 
believed to have been brought to Yetholm for interment, 
as being the nearest consecrated ground in Scotland. 

Kirkliston near Edinburgh, and Kirkborthwick in Rober- 
ton parish, Selkirkshire, are less easily interpreted. Mr 
Johnston thinks that liston is probably from Gaelic lios, 
a garden, and Old Eng. tun, a dwelling or village; and 
that Borthwick is probably from burh or borh, a castle, and 
wic, a village.^ Liston is found in England, where it is the 
name of a parish in Essex. In connection with Roberton 
parish, Cosmo Innes says: ''The district contained at an 
early period a church, from which in the time of King 
Robert Bruce the surrounding territory had the name of 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 142. ' Selkirk, p. 68. 

> History and Poetry of the Scottish Border, p. 27. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 393. 

' Gatton, in Surrey, is the Town at the Gate or Passage. 

* Scottish Place-Names, s,v, '* Kirkliston and Borthwick." 

128 KIRKS. 

Kirkborthewyc. Its burial-ground is still the chief place 
of sepulture of Roberton parish. Kirkborthwick stood on 
the left bank of Borthwick Water. In the last [i.e., the 
eighteenth] century the remnants of a church at Borthwick- 
brae were visible." ^ 

Kirkforthar is in Markinch parish, Fife, and gives name 
to the hamlet of Kirkforthar Feus. The writer in the 
* O. S. A.' ^ remarks : " In the beginning of the seventeenth 
century, the small parsonage of Kirkforthar, belonging to 
Lindsay of Kirkforthar, a cadet of the family of Crawford, 
was suppressed and annexed to Markinch. The ruins of the 
church of Kirkforthar are still to be seen ; they stand in the 
middle of the old churchyard, which is enclosed by a wall." 
Forthar, noted for its lime-works, is in the neighbouring 
parish of Kettle; and there is another Forthar in Glen- 
isla in Perthshire. The name is probably the old Gaelic 
/other or forther, signifying a fortified place. Muirkirk 
parish formed part of the parish of Mauchline till 163 1. 
From its moorland situation its church was called Kirk 
of the Muir, then Muirkirk, as well as Muirkirk of Kyle. 
The village rose into importance through the discovery of 
iron ore in 1787. There is a Kirk-o*-Muir in St Ninian's 
parish, Stirlingshire ; and Kirkmuirhill is a village near the 
Nethan in Lesmahagow parish, Lanarkshire. 

Prestonkirk parish, Haddingtonshire, was anciently called 
Linton, or Hauch, and later Prestonhaugh. The name 
signifies the Church of the Priest's Town or Dwelling. 
The parish church, a short way firom East Linton, is 
believed to occupy the site of a place of worship built by 
St Baldred. The present structure dates from 1770. Till 
then a figure, believed to represent the saint, lay in the 
churchyard, but was broken in pieces by a mason. Near 
the church on the bank of the Tyne is St Baldred's Well, a 
spring of delightfully cool water.* Who that knows Orkney 
is not interested in Kirkwall, with its ancient cathedrsd 
dedicated to St Magnus ? The name of the town, however, 
is believed to be connected with another kirk — viz., St 
Olaf s, a humbler structure long since passed away. Dr 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 326. ^ Vol. xii. p. 535, note. 

^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxviii. p. 81. 

KIRKS. 129 

Joseph Anderson remarks: '^It seems probable that it is 
to the church of St Olaf that Kirkwall owes its name of 
Kirkiuvagr, the Creek of the Kirk. This name does not 
occur in the * Orknejringa Saga ' before the time of Earl 
Rognvald Brusison, who is said to have resided there ; and 
it is most likely that the church of St Olaf was built by 
him in memory of his foster-father, King Olaf the Holy. 
Earl Rognvald was in the battle of Stiklestad (1030), in 
which the warrior saint of Norway fell; and, being his 
foster-son, he was more likely than any of the subsequent 
earls to dedicate a church to his memory."^ Between 
Kirkiuvag(r) and Kirkwall occur as intermediate forms of 
the name Kirkvaw, Kirkwaw, and Kirkwallia. 

We find colour entering into the names of certain kirks. 
Thus there was Redkirk, otherwise Redpatrick, in Dumfries- 
shire, once a separate parish but now included in Gretna. 
In the *N. S. A.'* we read: "At Redkirk Point, near the 
farm of that name, once stood the church of Redpatrick or 
Redkirk, which, like most others in this vicinity, anciently 
belonged to the See of Glasgow. Of that church or church- 
jrard not a vestige now remains — the tide and river whirl- 
ing violently round that headland have swept them entirely 
away; but some old people yet remember the unwelcome 
sight of bones and coffins protruding from the banks or 
collected from the beach." 

In Haddingtonshire is Whitekirk, forming a parish with 
Tyninghame. The pre- Reformation church, with its stone 
porch, is still used as the parish church. It was under the 
invocation of the Virgin, and at one time attracted many 
a pilgrim. One of these was i^Bneas Sylvius (afterwards 
Pope Pius II.), who, in 1435, to fulfil a vow made during a 
storm at sea between the Low Countries and Scotland, 
went to Whitekirk, walking barefoot over ten miles of 
firozen ground, with the result that he suffered from rheum- 
atism all the rest of his life. The Whitekirk of Buchan, 
dedicated to St Andrew, stood in Tyrie parish. In the 
porch of the present church is, or was, the Ravenstone, 
believed to have been the foundation-stone of the ancient 

^ Orkneyinga Saga, Intro., p. Ixxxix. ^ Dumfries, p. 266. 


130 KIRKS, 

churchy said to have been founded about 1004, when the 
Maormaer of Buchan routed a Danish host in the vicinity.^ 

Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, also contains a reference to 
colour in its name, as it means the speckled church. In 
1382 it was written ** Fawkirc." Faw in Scotch represents 
the A.S. fag or fahy and, like it, means *' variegated." It is 
significant that in a Latin charter of 1257 ^^^ place is called 
"Varia Capella." Anciently it was known as Egglesbrec, 
and is so styled in our own time by the Highland drovers 
frequenting the Falkirk trysts. These three names throw 
light on one another, as they all refer to the speckled ap- 
pearance of the ancient church.^ 

In 1594 the parish of Greenock was carved out of that of 
Inverkip, where the church stood. A new place of worship 
having been then built at Greenock, the church at Inverkip 
came to be known as the '' Auld Kirk " ; and this name was 
afterwards popularly applied to the village of Inverkip itself. 
It is curious that, in two cases at least, the name of Auld 
Kirk has been given to groups of prehistoric standing-stones 
— viz., at Alford and at Tough, both in Aberdeenshire.* 
Mdnch tells us that at Quoyloo, in Sandwich parish, Shet- 
land, are certain standing-stones popularly known as the 
Holy Kirk.* On a crag overhanging Loch Roan, in Cross- 
michael parish, is an ancient hill-fort ''yet called by the 
country people the Auld Kirk of Loch Roan." * At Cromarty 
the church stood originally on ground now covered by the 
sea. A sand-bank, probably the site of the building, still 
retains the name of Old Kirk.* There is a New Kirk in 
New Kilpatrick parish, Dumbartonshire ; and in Unst parish, 
Shetland, are the ruins of an ecclesiastical structure known 
as New Kirk. The story ran that it had never been finished, 
for whatever the builders built by day the Picts came and 
destroyed by night.^ In Mid-Lothian is the parish of Kirk- 
newton, comprising the ancient parishes of Kirknewton and 

1 Vide Gaz., s,v. "Tyrie." '^ ScotUsh Place-Names, s.v, " Falkirk.' 

' N. S. A., Aberdeen, pp. 499, 613. 

* M^oires de la Soci^t^ Royale des Antiquaires du Nord (i 845-1849) 
p. 250. 

• N. S. A., Kirkcudbrig^ht, p. 196. • O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 559. 
' Saga Book of the Viking Club (1897), p. 247. 

KIRKS. 131 

East Calder, united in 1750. There are some remains of 
the two ancient churches, the graveyards of which are still 
used for interments. " Kirknewton," observes Chalmers, 
" derived its name from the hamlet of Newton, where the 
church was built, on purpose to distinguish the kirk-town 
from the neighbouring village of East Newton."^ 

In the next two chapters an account will be given of kirks 
connected with the names of certain early saints. 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 797. 



Galloway— Kirkchrut— Christ's Ktrk—Peterkirk—Marykirk-^Ladykiri 
— Ktrkmichael — Carmicbael — Stoneykirk — St Tfohn*s Kirk — A«ri- 
andretus — Kirkcolm and St Coombs Kirk — Kirkcormack — Kirkpatrick 
— Ktrkbride and Brydekirk — Kirkmabreck — Kirkgunzeon — JGrkbtan 
— Kirkennan — Ktrkmirren — Kirkcudbright — Channelkirk, 

As we shall see, several of the kirks joined to the names of 
early saints are in the north-east of Scotland; but the 
majority are in the south-west, mainly in Galloway. Indeed 
more than the half of such kirks are within the limits of the 
Stewartry and the Shire. 

In Scotland, both south and north, the name of our Lord 
is found connected with kirk. Wigtownshire has a Kirkchrist 
in Old Luce parish, and another in Penninghame parish.^ 
In Kirkcudbrightshire there was anciently a parish of Kirk- 
christ, united to Twynholm in 1650. Its place of worship, 
according to Chalmers, *' was a mensal church of the Bishop 
of Galloway, who seems to have had a residence here."* 
In 1684 Symson wrote : " The parish of Twynam hath 
another kirk annexed thereto, though altogether ruinous, 
called Kirkchrist, lying upon the west side of the river of Dee, 
not far from the brink thereof, just opposit to the town of 
Kirkcudburgh." • At the east end of Kennethmont parish, 
Aberdeenshire, was the ancient parish of Christ's Kirk, with 
burying-ground and ruins of church. Christ's Fair, formerly 
held in May near the church, is thought to have suggested 
the poem of ** Chrystis Kirk on the Grene."* The fair was 

^ Gall. Top. ' Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 326. 

* Description of Galloway, p. 23. ^ N. S. A., Aberdeen, p. 588* 


also known as the Sleepy Market, because held during the 
night. An attempt was made to change it from night to 
day; but this met with such opposition that, instead of 
the time being altered, the fair itself was discontinued. On 
the eastern border of the parish is Christ's Kirk Hill, fac- 
ing Dunnideer, in the neighbouring parish of Insch. In 
Udny parish, in the same county, a well endowed church, 
known as Christ's Kirk, occupied in pre-Reformation times 
the site where the church of Udny was built at a later 

St Peter, as we have seen, had several kills in Scotland, 
but he had only one kirk — ^viz., Peterkirk, an ancient parish 
otherwise called Drumdelgie, now absorbed by the parishes 
of Cairnie and Glass in the shires of Aberdeen and Banff. 
We are reminded of the Virgin by Marykirk and Ladykirk, 
to be noticed in chap. xv. 

Michael the Archangel was popular in Scotland in the 
Middle Ages. He had several churches dedicated to him, 
notably St Michael's at Linlithgow, where his statue is still 
to be seen high up on the exterior of the building. He was 
the tutelar saint, not only of the church but also of the 
burgh of Linlithgow. In the town arms he is represented 
with outspread wings, standing on a serpent, whose head he 
pierces with a spear. He was also reckoned the guardian 
of the burgh of Dumfries, where we likewise find a St 
Michael's church. His stone effigy, some four feet high, 
occupies a niche in the east gable of the church of Dallas in 

Five parishes are named after a kirk dedicated to St 
Michael — viz., (i) Kirkmichael in the Annandale district 
of Dumfriesshire, comprising the ancient parish of Kirk- 
michael and the larger part of Garvald ; (2) Kirkmichael in 
the Carrick district of Ayrshire; (3) Kirkmichael in north- 
east Perthshire; (4) Kirkmichael in Banffshire, containing 
St Michael's Well, formerly much resorted to; (5) Kirk- 
michael or Resolis in the Black Isle, comprising the ancient 
parishes of Kirkmichael and CuUicudden. Its church is thus 
described by Hugh Miller : " I wrought for about a week in 

^ N. S. A., Aberdeen, p. 800. * O. S. A., vol. iv. p. 108. 


the burying-ground of Kirkmichael, a ruinous chapel in the 
eastern extremity of Resolis, distant about six miles from 
the town of Cromarty. The sea flows to within a few yards 
of the lower wall; but the beach is so level and so little 
exposed to the winds, that even in the time of tempest there 
is heard within its precincts only a faint rippling murmur, 
scarcely loud enough to awaken the echoes of the ruin. A 
row of elms springs out of the fence and half-encircles the 
building in the centre. The western gable of the ruin is 
still entire, though the very foundations of part of the walls 
can no longer be traced on the sward, and it is topped by 
a belfry of hewn stone, in which the dead bell is still 
suspended." ^ 

There is a Kirkmichael farm in the parish of Row,^ and 
Blaeu's map has a Kirkmichael near Dumbarton. Car- 
michael in Lanarkshire should be added to the above list 
of parishes, as the name is probably Kirkmichael in an 
altered form. It was written circa 1180 " Kermichael," and 
from 1306 to 1329 " Kirkmychel " ; but the earlier spelling 
is in all probability misleading. The parish at one time 
contained a marsh, now drained, locally styled St Michael's 
Bog.* That "Kermichael" is a wrong rendering of Kirk- 
michael is made all the more likely by the analogy of some 
old spellings of Stoneykirk (St Stephen's Kirk), a parish to 
the west of Luce Bay, Wigtownshire. Regarding the latter 
Sir Herbert Maxwell remarks : " This name is written 
phonetically in the Register of the Great Seal in 1535, 
Steneker; in 1546, Stenakere; and in 1559, Stennaker. 
Thus far early spellings mislead rather than assist us ; but 
as late as 1725 it appears in the papers of the Court of 
Session as Stevenskirk. It is a dedication to St Stephen; 
the popular contraction ' Steenie ' sounded like ' stany,' and 
would-be-genteel scribes wrote it * stoney.' " * 

The Thankerton portion of the united parish of Covington 
and Thankerton, in Lanarkshire, was at one time also 
known as St John's Kirk from the dedication of its church. 
St John's Kirk is still the name of a mansion in the parish, 

^ Scenes and Leg^ends of the North of Scotland, p. 433. 

' N. S. A., Dumbarton, p. 75. 3 Q. P. S., vol. i. pp. 150, 151. 

* Scottish Land-Names, p. 74. 



and near it, in a burying-ground, are to be seen the ivy- 
clad ruins of the Kirk of St John. Clustering round the 
kirk, as I am informed by Mr S. Macnamara of Carstairs, 
was a hamlet known as St John's Kirk. Mr Macnamara 
says : '' The hamlet has disappeared, and for several 
centuries the mansion (alone) has been known as St John's 
Kirk."^ Kirkandrews was an ancient parish of Kirk- 
cudbrightshire, joined to Borgue in 1618 or earlier. The 
village of Kirkandrews stands at the head of Little Kirk- 
andrews Bay. St Andrew seems to have been popular in 
the Border region both south and north of the line between 
the two kingdoms; for we find not only Kirkandrews- 
parish-on-Esk, formed out of the old debatable lands 
between Esk and Sark, but also the parish of Kirkandrews- 
on-Eden, both now in Cumberland.* 

In addition to such Scriptural sources of nomenclature 
we find kirks linked to the names of several of our early 
missionaries, whose memory continued to be held in 
reverence for centuries after the close of their labours. St 
Columba was certainly one of the most zealous of these 
preachers, and we find his name honoured in the south- 
west of Scotland in Kirkcolm — t.^., Columba's Kirk — in 
Wigtownshire, where there is a spring of water known as 
the Crosswell, or St Columba's Well; and in the north- 
east in St Coombs Kirk, on the boundary between the 
parishes of Olrig and Dunnet in Caithness, where a church, 
dedicated to St Columba, is believed to have stood. 
Tradition says that the building and adjoining manse were 
one night overwhelmed by sand during a terrible gale.* 
St Cormack, Abbot of Durrow, the famous navigator, a 
contemporary of Columba, is commemorated in Kirkcor- 
mack, Kirkcudbrightshire, beautifully situated on the Dee. 
It was once a separate parish, but is now united to Kelton. 
Its ruined church lies four-and-a-half miles south-west of 
Castle -Douglas. Kirkcormack was formerly styled Kil- 
cormack. Its church in ancient times belonged to the 
monks of lona, but, like their other possessions in Galloway, 

^ O. p. S., vol. i. pp. 142, Z43. 

^ Lewis's England, s,v, "Kirkandrews." 

' N. S. A., Caithness, p. 61. 


was granted to Holyrood Abbey by William the Lion 
between 1172 and 1180.^ 

St Patrick is commemorated in four parishes named 
Kirkpatrick, — two in Dumfriesshire and two in Kirk- 
cudbrightshire. The former are called respectively Kirk- 
patrick-Juxta in Upper Annandale, and Kirkpatrick-Fieming 
in the strath of the Kirtle, named after the Flemings, who 
anciently owned lands within its bounds. In the time of 
Edward III. thirty brave Flemings perished in the flames 
when Redhall Tower, their ancestral mansion, was burned 
by the English king. Regarding Kirkpatrick-Juxta Mac- 
dowall says : " In the fifteenth century the adjunct juxta 
appears to the name of this parish, in order to distinguish 
it from Kirkpatrick-Fieming." The two Kirkcudbright- 
shire parishes are Kirkpatrick-Irongray, in the north-east 
of the Stewartry, and Kirkpatrick- Durham, immediately 
to the west of the former. On these Sir Herbert Max- 
well has the following note in his ' Studies in Galloway 
Topography*:* "Kirkpatrick-Irongray (Font's map=Arn- 
gray), Ard'an'greaich = height of the moor. Kirkpatrick- 
Durham (in 1607 Kirkpatrick -Dirrame); formerly called 
Cella Patricii or Kilpatrick-on-the-Moor." The Rev. W. A. 
Stark, following Symson, thinks that the latter parish 
"was called Kirkpatrick - Durham from a family styled 
Durham who are said to have owned the lands of Kil- 
quhanity in the thirteenth century and earlier; but there 
is much uncertainty on the point." Mr Stark mentions 
that " Durham Street and Durhamhill are still names in 
the parish."^ In Kirkpatrick-Durham is a spring named 
after St Patrick, and a fair used to be held in the parish 
on his day, the 17th March. In Dumfriesshire is a non- 
parochial Kirkpatrick, regarding which Chalmers writes: 
" In the parish of Closebum there was formerly a chapel 
which was dedicated to St Patrick, and which gave its 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 315. 

^ In his ' Scottish Land-Names ' Sir Herbert interprets Irongray differ- 
ently. He there (p. 137) thinks that the Gaelic is earrann graich — ue., land 
of the horse-drove, " for this was the province where the Galloway nag^ 
were bred." 

' The Book of Kirkpatrick-Durham, pp. 10, 18, 63. 


name of Kirkpatrick to a farm, whereon stand its ruins. 
From this place the family of Kirkpatrick assumed their 
surname in the twelfth century. The Kirkpatricks were the 
proprietors of Closebum from the twelfth to the eighteenth 
century." ^ 

St Bridget of Kildare, otherwise St Bride, has several 
kirks in the south-west. In Ayrshire was the ancient parish 
of Kirkbride, united to May bole before the end of the six- 
teenth century. Its church was granted by Duncan, Earl 
of Carrick, to the nunnery of North Berwick, and remained 
its property till the Reformation. The burying-ground, con- 
taining the ruins of St Bridget's church, is situated near the 
coast, about half a mile east of Dunure Castle.' Kirkbride 
was an ancient parish of Nithsdale, known from the twelfth 
to the sixteenth century as Kilbride. About 1733 it lost its 
parochial status, and was divided between the parishes of 
Durisdeer and Sanquhar. Chalmers says: "The ruins of 
the church of Kilbride, with its cemetery, may still be seen 
in the south-east end of Sanquhar parish, near the Nith.^ 
There was anciently a chapelry of Kirkbride in Kirkpatrick- 
Durham parish ; and it is likely that the farm of Kirklebride 
there, near the foundation of an old church, was called after 
St Bridget. There is a Kirkbride in Kirkcudbright parish, 
and there is another in Kirkmabreck parish. The latter 
Kirkbride is a hamlet near the shore of Wigtown Bay, 
where St Bridget's Chapel once stood, but there are now 
no traces of the building.^ Kirkgunzeon parish has a Kirk- 
bride ; so have the Wigtownshire parishes of Kirkcolm and 
Kirkmaiden ; while in Ayrshire we find Kirkbride estate in 
Kirkmichael parish, and in Dumfriesshire an estate and a 
village of Brydekirk in Annan parish. Traquair parishy 
Peeblesshire, was at one time styled St Bryde's Kirk, or 
Kirkbride. A spring on the glebe, still known as St Bryde's 
Well, recalls the ancient dedication of the church.^ 

The name of Kirkmabreck gave rise to a strange specula- 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 168. 

^ Ibid., vol. iii. p. 531. Duncan was a son of Fergus, Lord of Gal- 
loway. He was created Earl of Carrick in 1186. 

* Ibid., vol. iii. p. 173. * N. S. A., Kirkcudbright, p. 332. 

' N. S. A., Peebles, p. 38. 


tion on the part of Chalmers. He says: ''The parish of 
Kirkmabreck is formed of the old parish of this name, and 
the largest portion of the old parish of Kirkdale. The word 
Kirkmabreck was composed by prefixing the Saxon cyrc 
to Mabrecky the previous name of the place where the kirk 
was built: Ma-breck or Magh-breck is a local name, and 
signifies, in the Irish speech, the Variegated Plain. In 
&ct, the plain whereon the church stood abounds with 
many stones of granite, which gave it a speckled appear- 
ance. This notion may certainly be strengthened by the 
fact that there was another Kirkmabreck in Stoneykirk 
parish, Wigtownshire, where there is still a hamlet of this 
name. Yet we search the martyrologies in vain for such a 
saint as Macbreck or Mabreck." ^ The speckled plain is not 
a likely interpretation. Sir Herbert Maxwell is probably 
correct when he finds in Kirkmabreck the name of St 
Bricius, the ma being the honorific prefix. Bricius* was a 
nephew of St Martin of Tours, and died in 444. We find 
a trace of him in St Brycedale at Kirkcaldy. Symson men- 
tions that about 1654 part of a statue of St, M'Breck, as 
he calls him, was to be seen in a chapel at Ferrytown of 

St Fin(n)an is known as St Winnin in Welsh, and in the 
latter form he is commemorated in Kilwinning in Ayrshire, 
and in an altered form in Kirkgunzeon in Kirkcudbright- 
shire. The parish has a Falgunzeon, signifying St Winnings 
Pool.* On the kirk bell, cast in 1674, Kirkgunzeon appears 
as Kirkwinong.^ Near the church is a spring known as 
Winning's Well. Kirkbean parish, in south-east Kirkcud- 
brightshire, where the Nith flows into the Solway, is named 
after St Bean, who had a chapel at Kinkell in Strathearn, 
and was connected with Mortlach in Banilishire, where is 
Balvanie, known in Irish as Bal-beni-mor — i.^., the Dwelling 
of Beyne the Great .• The saint flourished probably in the 
second half of the tenth century. 

When alluding to Kirkennan, also in the Stewartry, Sym- 
son says that '' the kirk was of old called Kirkennen, and 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. pp. 331, 332. ' Vide Appendix, L. 

* Description of Galloway. ^ Gall. Top. 

> Kirkcudbright, p. 218. < Kal., s.v, '< Bean." 

■ w ■ w 


was situated upon the river Orr (Urr), near the mouth of 
it; but, for the more conveniency, was translated to the 
very centre of the parish, and called Bootle, because built 
in the Baronie so called."^ No vestige of the old church 
of Kirkennan now remains, though its site is still pointed 
out.^ In 1611 the name was written Kirkcunane and 
Kirkinane. There is considerable doubt as to the saint to 
whom the kirk was dedicated. Inan, Eunan (ue., Adam- 
nan), and Fin(n)an have each been mentioned in connection 
with it. There is another Kirkennan in Minnigaff parish.^ 
In Kelton parish is Kirkmirran, named after Merinus or 
Mirinus, the patron saint of Paisley. Mr Harper says 
regarding it : " Near to Potterland a few old hollies and 
ash-trees mark the site of an ancient chapel dedicated to 
St Merinus, called Kirkmirren. There was also a burying- 
ground here, traces of which are still discernible."* 

The county town of the Stewartry is linked to the name 
of St Cuthbert, famous for his missionary labours in the 
south of Scotland and the north of England. He was 
bom about 626, and spent his early boyhood as a shep- 
herd on the southern slopes of the Lammermoors. He 
lived for thirteen years as a monk in the monastery of 
Old Melrose, two miles east from the present Melrose, on 
a piece of land almost surrounded by the Tweed. On 
the death of Boisil, Cuthbert was appointed prior of the 
monastery, and afterwards became Bishop of Lindisfarne. 
During his stay at Melrose he visited the land of the 
Niduarian Picts, in other words the Picts of Galloway, 
and left a record of his journey in the name of Kirkcud- 
bright — i.e., the Church of Cuthbert.*^ The original church 
is believed to have stood in the graveyard, still bearing 
St Cuthbert's name, close to the burgh.^ In the twelfth 

^ Description of Galloway, p. 15. ^ N. S. A., Kirkcudbright, p. 213. 

^ Gall. Top. ^ Rambles in Galloway, and ed., p. 36. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 209. 

* Water was introduced into Kiri&cudbright in 1763. A public well near 
the market cross bears the following inscription, quoted by Mr G. £. 
Philip in his * Holiday Fortnights,* p. 191 : — 

" This fount, not riches, life supplies ; 
Alt gives what Nature here denies : 
Prosperity must surelv bliss 
St Cuthbert's sons, wno purchased this." 


century it was customary to bring a bull to St Cuthbert's 
church at Kirkcudbright on his festival,^ — a survival of a 
pagan rite recalling a practice that lingered in Ross-shire 
till the seventeenth century, of sacrificing a bull to St Mael- 
rubha.^ Cuthbert's festival was held on the 20th March, 
the day when he died on one of the Fame Islands, off the 
Bamborough coast, in the year 687. 

There is another Kirkcudbright in Glencairn parish, Dum- 
friesshire, a mile and a quarter south-west of Moniaive, 
where there are two farms — Upper Kirkcudbright, now 
called Woodlee, and Nether Kirkcudbright. Ballantrae, in 
Ayrshire, was formerly styled Kirkcudbright-Innertig. Its 
church anciently belonged to Crossraguel Abbey, and stood 
till 1617 near where the Tig flows into the Stinchar, Innertig 
being the Inver — i.e., confluence of the Tig. Some remains 
of the church are still to be seen. 

St Cuthbert, as we have seen, spent his early years in 
the district of the Lammermoors, and it has been thought 
that Channelkirk in Berwickshire is a reminiscence of his 
boyhood. The name is spelt in a great variety of ways in 
old documents. Childeschirche and Childenchirch are two 
of the forms, — the "Child," it is held, having been St 
Cuthbert. There is extant a "Metrical Life"* of the 
saint, written in English about 1450. It is in part a 
translation of a Latin work composed probably circa 
1206, and purports to embody facts regarding the saint's 
life from Irish sources. According to it, St Cuthbert is 
represented as having been born in Ireland of a royal 
stock. At an early age he is taken by his mother Sabina 
to the west of Scotland. Some miraculous incidents 
happen, and thereafter the child Cuthbert is taken to 
Lothian, where he is left under the care of a certain 

^ Bull -baiting on St Cuthbert's Day was practised at Stirling' in pre- 
Reformation times. We leam that in 1529 "the provest and baillies hais 
liessent and lycessit the dekin and craftismen of the fleschouris to bait ane 
bull of Sancubartis day or on the Sounday nixt thareftir." — ' Extracts from 
Stirling Burgh Records,' vol. i. p. 37. 

' P. S. A. Scot., vol. X. p. 668. 

' This <* Metrical Life" has been edited by the Rev. Dr J. T. Fowler for 
the Surtees Society. 


holy man while his mother goes to Rome on pilgrimage. 
The poem says: — 

" That place is knawen in all Scottland, 
For nowe a kirk thar on stand. 
Childe kirk is called commounly 

Of men that er wonand thar by ; are dwelling. 

Of Cuthbert Childe name it toke. 
In Goddis wirschip, thus saies the boke, 
And in his name to rede and syng^ ; 
To him be wirschip and louyng." * prcdse. 

There is, however, no reason to doubt that Cuthbert was 
born as well as brought up in the Scottish Border. Ac- 
cording to the charters of Dryburgh Abbey, the church of 
Channelkirk was dedicated to him. In a charter of date 
circa 1161, reference is made to the church of St Cuthbert 
of Channelkirk (^'ecclesiam Sancti Cuthberti de Childin- 
chirch")-^ The Rev. Archibald Allan is probably correct 
when he says: "Our present name seems to have come 
directly from the change of Childen into Cheindil, which 
appears to have been simply the result of metathesis. But 
when Childenchirch had become Cheindilchirch or Chein- 
dilkirk, the hatred of the tongue for the dental produced 
still further changes — Cheindil became Cheinil ; after which 
Chinel and Channel are easy transitions."* Mr Allan 
remarks: "We are disposed to believe that the church of 
Channelkirk derives its designation from the youth Cuth- 
bert, afterwards St Cuthbert, and probably came into exist- 
ence between the seventh and ninth centuries." The church 
of Channelkirk was consecrated, or reconsecrated, on the 
23rd March 1241 by David de Bernham, Bishop of St 

^ Metrical Life, p. 28. ' Liber de Dryburg^h, p. 204. 

' Vide * History of Channelkirk/ pp. 36-51, where Mr Allan discusses the 
different etymologies of the name of the parish, including* that which derives 
it from Children's Kirk — «.tf., the Church of the Holy Innocents — an ety- 
mology adopted by the Rev. Dr Scott in his * Fasti Ecclesias Scoticanae,' 
vol. i., Part II., p. 521. Vide also Skene's 'Celtic Scotland,' vol. it. 
pp. 201-206. 


KIRKS AND SAINTS — continued. 

Ktrkmaidm — KirkUish — Ktrkcalla — Ktrkmadrine — Kirkdrym — Kirkcowan 
— Ktrktrmer — Kirkmaboe — Kirkdomime — Kirkoswaid — Kirkcotmel — 
Kirkpottie — Kirkbuddo — Convetb or Laurencekirk — ^^ Pade Ksrk" — 
Teunankirk — Fumac Kirk — Kirkmartin — Wcdla Kirk, 

Who does not know the saying, " from Maidenkirk to 
John-o'-Groat's," — in other words, from the south-west of 
Wigtownshire to the north-east of Caithness? Maiden- 
Kirk, usually styled Kirk-Maiden, is a parish named after 
St Medana, whose cave and ruined chapel are referred to 
in another chapter. It was formerly known as Kirkmaiden- 
in-Ryndis, to distinguish it from Kirkmaiden-in-Farnes, 
now united to Glasserton parish. The ruined church of 
the latter is still to be seen in a sequestered spot at the foot 
of the cliffs, close to the sea. In Kirkmaiden parish is 
Kirkleish, recalling the name of St Laisren or Molaissi, 
better known through his connection with Holy Island in 
the Firth of Clyde. 

St Ola, otherwise Olaf, is perhaps represented in the 
dedication of Kircalla in Penninghame parish, but the ety- 
mology of the name is uncertain. The same is true of 
Kirkmadrine — ** Kirkmadroyn," as Symson calls it. There 
are two Kirkmadrines : one is in Stoneykirk parish, two 
miles south-west of Sandhead village, where are the two 
oldest inscribed Christian monuments in Scotland, till lately 
serving as gate-posts to an old burying-ground, but now 
protected from the weather.^ The other Kirkmadrine was 
an ancient parish now included, together with Sorby and 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. ii. pp. 91, 254. 


Cruggleton, in the present parish of Sorby. Its church, 
whose ruins are still to be seen surrounded by trees in an 
old burying-ground on Penkiln farm, belonged to the prior 
and canons of St Mary's Isle, the cure being served by a 
vicar. There has been much difference of opinion as to 
the identity of the saint to whom the kirk was dedicated. 
Chalmers says the saint was Medan ; Dr John Stuart, 
Mathurinus; and Bishop Forbes, Medran. I am inclined 
to hold that the first syllable of Madrine is the honorific 
ma so often prefixed to the names of Celtic saints, and that 
the real name is Dryne, or some name like it. Otherwise 
how can we account for Kirkdryne, called also Kirkdrain, 
in Kirkmaiden parish, which seems merely the same name 
minus the -ma ? 

There are two kirks in Wigtownshire regarding whose 
dedications we are on surer ground. These are Kirkcowan 
and Kirkinner. The former, locally pronounced Kir-cti-an, 
is a village and a parish called after St Congan, who, as 
we saw in chap, viii., has several kik dedicated to him in 
the north-west of Scotland. It is interesting to find a kirk 
to him in the south-west. Near Kirkcowan a pool in the 
river Tarff is known as Lincuan — i.e., St Congan's Pool.^ 
Kirkinner, the parish lying to the south of Wigtown, means 
the Church of St Kennera, a friend of St Ursula, and re- 
puted one of her train of eleven thousand virgins. Kirk- 
inner is the only dedication to her in Scotland. According 
to her legend, she was saved from death by the King of the 
Rhine amid the slaughter of the other virgins, and had the 
oversight of his kingdom and household committed to her. 
The queen, however, became jealous of the saint's influence, 
and on one occasion, when Kennera was carrying some 
bread to the poor, the former told the king to see for him- 
self how his goods were being given away. A miracle was 
wrought, and the loaves were changed into shavings. At 
the instigation of the queen, Kennera was at length strangled, 
and secretly buried in a stable, but lights in the form of 
a cross revealed the spot where the body was hidden.* 
Such, at least, are the miracles forming part of her story. 

1 Gall. Top. ^ Kal., p. 361. 


Kirkmahoe, a hamlet and parish in Dumfriesshire, prob- 
ably recalls Macceas or Mahew of Kilmahew in Dumbarton- 
shire, a companion of St Patrick. Dempster connects 
Macceus with the island of Bute ; ^ and it is noteworthy that 
in the parish of Kirkmahoe there was anciently a chapelry 
of Kilbane, named after St Blane, who was specially identi- 
fied with Bute. Though Mahew gave name to the parish, 
it is worth observing that before the Reformation he was 
superseded as its patron by St Quintin of Amiens, a martyr 
in the third century. 

In Ary shire we find Kirkdominie, a ruin on a rising ground 
above the Stinchar, nearly two miles south-west of Barr 
village. It is sometimes written Kirkdominae, as though 
signifying the Church of our Lady — i.e., the Virgin; but 
the correct form is Kirkdominie, or Kirkdomine — i.^,, the 
Church of our Lord. Near it is a well with an arched 
entrance; and at one time a largely frequented market, 
called Kirkdomine Fair, was held beside the chapel on the 
last Saturday of May. Chalmers says : " In 1653, when 
the parish of Bar was established, the roof of Kirkdomine, 
with true economy, was taken off and placed on the new 
church at Bar. In the charter of Robert III. to the monks 
of Crossragwell, in August 1404, he confirmed to them, 
among other articles of property, Muas denariatas terre 
capelli Sancti Trinitatis de Kildomine.' " * Other forms 
of the name are given by Paterson, though he is in error 
as to the dedication of the building. He says : " If kil 
must be regarded as the original prefix, the probability is 
that the real name of the chapel was Kildominick, the 
Church of St Dominick, not of the Trinity. In some 
instances it was written Kirkdamnie, from which the present 
pronunciation of the word — Kirkdamdie or Kirkdandie — 
may have arisen."* 

Another Ayrshire kirk is Kirkoswald. Its ancient church 
stood in Turnberry Manor, and was hence called Kirkoswald 
of Turnberry. Its patron was St Oswald, the Northumbrian 
king, who began to reign in 634, and was the means of 
spreading Christianity in the north of England. When 

^ Kal., pp. 196, 380. ' Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 559. 

' History of Ayrshire, vol. ii. p. 108. 


in exile, before becoming king, he spent some time with 
the monks of lona; and after be obtained the crown he 
sent to that island for a missionary to preach the Christian 
faith to his Northumbrian subjects. As J. R. Green 
remarks, "for after times the memory of his greatness 
was lost in the legends of his piety." ^ Bede tells various 
miraculous stories regarding him. One Easter day he was 
sitting at dinner with Bishop Aidan, and on the table was 
a silver dish fiill of dainties, when a messenger told the king 
that a number of starving people stood without seeking 
alms. Oswald at once sent meat to them, and ordered the 
silver dish to be broken up and divided among them, "at 
which sight," says Bede, "the bishop, much taken with 
such an act of piety, laid hold of his right hand and said, 
* May this hand never perish,' — which fell out according to 
his prayer; for his arm and hand, being cut ofT from his 
body when he was slain in battle, remain entire and un- 
corrupted to this day.'*^ In 642 Oswald was slain at 
Maserfield fighting against Penda, the pagan King of 
Mercia; and we are told that earth, gathered from the 
spot where he fell, could cure disease and arrest fire.* A 
cloven skull, believed to be that of St Oswald, was dis- 
covered in March 1899 in the reputed grave of St Cuthbert 
in Durham Cathedral, when a skeleton, understood to be 
that of the latter saint, was being examined. The ex- 
amination was conducted by Canon J. T. Fowler, who 
mentions that after it was over, the skeleton and the skull 
were reinterred in an oak coffin, on whose lid was incised 
" the cross commonly called ' St Cuthbert's,' surmounted by 
a crown with reference to St Oswald the king." * 

The Arms of the Royal Burgh of Kirkcudbright show " a 
lymphad with the sail furled, in the stern St Cuthbert 
seated, holding on his knee the head of the tmityr St 
Oswald."* The cultus of the latter had an influence on 
mediaeval art on the Continent. In an altar-piece in the 
church of Tai in North Italy, by Cesare Vecellio, a cousin 
of Titian, is a Madonna with a bishop on her right hand, 

^ Short History of the Eng^lish People, p. 22. 

^ Ecclesiastical History, lib. iii. cap. vi. * Ibid., lib. iii. cap. ix. 

* Archsologia, vol. Ivii. p. 15. * Arms of Royal Burg^hs, p. 229. 



and on her left, St Oswald with crown and sceptre.^ Skene 
thinks that the cultus of the saint probably reached Ayrshire 
in the eighth century.* Chalmers says: "From time im- 
memorial a fair has been held, annusdly, at Kirkoswald on 
the 5th of August, the festival day of the patron saint." ^ 
A chapel and a hermitage in the south part of Carluke 
parish bore his name. In a charter of 1541 mention is 
made of Kirkoswald, alias Balmaknele, on the lands of 
Ardstinchar, in Ballantrae parish.^ There is a Kirkoswald 
parish in the north of England. 

In Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire are several Kirk- 
connels, so named from St Connel. One of these is the 
Nithsdale parish of Kirkconnel containing Kirkconnel 
village, two miles to the north-west of which was the 
church-hamlet of Old Kirkconnell. Two miles below the 
village is Conel's Bush on the south side of the Nith.^ In 
New Cumnock parish, Ayrshire, are Connel Bum and 
Connel Park ; and in Lochwinnoch parish, Renfrewshire, is 
a green mound called Dun Connel. The question arises, 
Who was St Connel? Bishop Forbes says: "There are 
seven saints of the name of CotuUl in the Irish lists. It is 
impossible to identify any of them with him who gives his 
name to Kirkconnel."^ Regarding the titular of Kirk- 
connel, Chalmers hesitates between St Congal who fixed his 
cell at Dercongel in the neighbourhood of Dumfries,^ and 
St Conwal or Conval, a disciple of St Mungo. In an 
" Account of the Presbytery of Penpont " * we read : " Kirk- 
connal, so dominated from Sanctus Convallus, who lived in 
a cell by the vestiges of its foundation, yet perceptible, hard 
by the fountain he did usually drink of, called Fons Convalli 
or St ConaU's Well, at the foot of an hill, where Kirkconall 
church is situate." St Conval was patron of various 
churches, including those of Cumnock and Eastwood. At 

^ Rev. Dr A. Robertson's Through the Dolomites, p. 63. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 235. ' Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 532. 

^ R. M. S. ' Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 173. 

' Kal., p. 3ii> ^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 173. 

B Drawn up and transmitted to Sir Robert Sibbald by the Rev. Mr Black, 
minister of Closebum, quoted in the Appendix to Symson's ' Description of 
Galloway,* p. 153. 


the latter place, as Bishop Morgan tells us, ''near the burial- 
ground there was a ruin known as the Auld House, which, 
with its enclosure, was called St Conval's Dowry." ^ St 
Conval is said to have crossed the sea from Ireland, and 
to have had a cell at Inchinnan, where his relics were 
venerated in the time of Boece, who says: — 

^ Discipill ab he wes of Sanct Mungow ; 
In Inchenane, schort gait bewest Glasgw, 
His bodie lyis, quhair I myself hes bene 
In pilgremage, and his relicques hes sene." ' 

The Rev. John Warrick has examined the story of St 
Conval, and has reached the conclusion that the saint 
is not to be identified with the titular of KirkconnelL* The 
latter, according to a local tradition alluded to by the 
writer of the article on " Kirkconnell " in the * N. S. A.,'* is 
said to have been buried on the Glenwhurry range of hills. 
There is another Kirkconnell in Dumfriesshire — viz., in 
Tynron parish, where a chapel once stood; and in the 
same shire is Kirkconnell Hall, a mansion in Hoddam 
parish. The parishes of Troqueer and Tongland in the 
Stewartry have also a Kirkconnell. In the former is the 
estate of Kirkconnell, and in the latter are Kirkconnell 
farm and Kirkconnell Moor. On the farm so named an 
ancient cemetery was discovered many years ago. 

Probably the best known Kirkconnel — best known, at 
least, to lovers of our Border ballads — is the ancient parish 
of that name, united after the Reformation to Kirkpatrick- 
Fleming, and now represented by an ancient burying- 
ground beside Kirtle Water. In this burying-ground rest 
the remains of fair Helen, who, when sitting one day be- 
side her lover, Adam Fleming, was fatally wounded by a 
bullet aimed at Fleming by the unskilful hand of a less 
fortunate admirer of the maiden. In his grief her lover 
left the district and wandered in foreign lands, but at length 
came back to the banks of the Kirtle. What then hap- 

1 Irish Saints in Great Britain, p. 158. 

* Stewart's Metrical Version, vol. ii. p. 294. 

' Hist, of Old Cumnock, pp 71-80. ^ Dumfries, p. 316. 


pened to him is thus described by Pennant: "On his 
return he visited the grave of his unfortunate mistress, 
stretched himself on it, and, expiring on the spot, was 
interred by her side. A sword and a cross are engraven 
on the tombstone with ' Hie jacet Adam Fleming,' — the 
only memorial of this unhappy gentleman except an antient 
ballad, of no great merit, which records the tragical event." V 
This tragical event is believed to have happened in the 
latter part of James V.'s reign or in the early part of that 
of Mary. Few will endorse Pennant's verdict on the ballad 
in question : — 

" I wish I were where Helen lies ; 
Night and day on me she cries. 
Oh, that I were where Helen lies 
On fair Kirkconnel Lee ! " 

In Strathearn, three miles south of Bridge of Earn, was 
Kirkpottie, otherwise Kirkpotyn, at the mouth of Glenfarg. 
The Mill of Pottie is still there, but Kirkpottie is gone. 
It was probably dedicated to St Fotinus of Lyons, who 
suffered martyrdom in a.d. 177. He was reverenced at 
Torrie in Kincardineshire, and gave name to the district 
of Foty or Fotyn in Aberdeen, opposite Torrie, known 
locally as Fittie, Futtie, or Foottie. The name has been 
interpreted as the Foot of the Dee, because Foottie lies at 
the influx of that river into the sea, an interpretation which 
ignores the fact that the name in that case would have 
been not Foot-Dee but Dee-Foot. A fishermen's chapel, 
dedicated to St Clement, was built at Futtie in 1498, and 
hence that saint was naturally regarded, in later times, 
as tutelar of the district.* The * Aberdeen Breviary * states 
that the fame of St Fotinus reached the north, and that 
a basilica was built in his honour within sight of the Dee. 
In the church of St Nicholas, at Aberdeen, an altar to 
St Duthac was founded in 13599 and was adorned by Mr 
Duncan Sherar, parson of Clatt, with a silver chalice 
having on it the images of various saints, and among them 

^ Tour, vol. ii. p. 89. 

* Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 59. 

-*■!.• l«Jl--6-« iSS ■ ■ JJWtl ■ lis ^ ^i^^K^^r^-- ^-.Jilg'* J^ >A.^i^l 


the image of St Fotinus.^ The cultus of the saint seems 
to have been in special favour with the parson of Clatt, for 
it was arranged that there should be "on the vigil of St 
Fotinus each year a commemoration of those for whom 
Mr Duncan Sherar was personally bound to pray," and on 
the saint's festival — 23rd December — a solemn mass at the 
high altar.^ 

Kirkbuddo, in Forfarshire, is an altered form of Carbuddo 
—, St Buite's Fort, to be referred to in chap. xxix. Its 
kirk, which is mentioned in the Old Taxation of 1275, was 
a rectory belonging to the church of Guthrie, in the diocese 
of Brechin. It stood, with its graveyard, on a knoll not 
far from where St Buite is thought to have had his resi- 
dence.* Jervise says that the only remains of antiquity in 
the graveyard are the font and a mutilated sepulchral slab, 
both of red sandstone, the slab bearing what seems to be 
a wheel cross with shaft. The kirk has disappeared, but 
on or near its site stands a spreading beech-tree.^ 

In the Howe of the Meams is still the Mill of Conveth ; 
but the parish of Conveth, in which it stands, is now known 
as Laurencekirk, The Kirktown of Conveth, alias St 
Laurence, on the lands of Haulkerston, was the original 
church -hamlet, and preceded the present Laurencekirk. 
The latter was the creation of Lord Gardenstone, who, 
about the year 1765, bought the lands of Johnston and 
Blackiemuir, and gave leases on such favourable terms 
that, by 1772, a thriving town had arisen, which, seven 
years later, was made a burgh of barony. Referring to his 
new burgh, Lord Gardenstone said : "I could not carry 
my land to the gates of a thriving town, but I could answer 
the same purpose by erecting and establishing a thriving 
town in the heart of my land." 

The church of St Laurence was dedicated in 1244. When 
the church, built in 1626, was being taken down in 1804, 
a stone, evidently older than the building, was discovered, 
bearing the figure of a man l}nng on a gridiron.^ This 
circumstance, coupled with the holding of a fair till com- 

^ Chartulary of St Nicholas, vol. ii. p. 64. ' Ibid., p. 35. 

' Warden, vol. iii. pp. 394, 395. ^ Epitaphs, &c., vol. ii. pp. 151, 152. 

' N. S. A., Kincardine, p. 128, note. 


paratively lately on Laurin Moor, between the farms of 
Westerton and Drumforber, in the month of August, tends 
towards the conclusion that the titular of the church was 
St Laurence the Mart3rr,^ whose attribute is a gridiron, and 
whose festival falls on the tenth of the month just named. 
Some, however, have thought that the church was dedicated 
to St Laurence, one of the successors of St Augustine at 
Canterbury, who visited Scotland in the seventh century. 
The meaning of Conveth — the old name, as we have seen, 
of Laurencekirk — is thus explained by Haddan and Stubbs : 
** Conveth seems to be synonymous with the right of refec- 
tion or the Irish coigny — i.^., the right of being hospitably 
entertained at the cost of his dependents, enjoyed by the 
lord when he pleased to visit them." * In Inverness-shire 
was another Conveth, an ancient parish now annexed to 

To the north of Laurencekirk is the parish of Fordoun, 
containing the village of Auchinblae, where, on high ground, 
is to be seen the parish church whose square tower is a 
landmark for miles around. The church stands in a bury- 
ii^g'gi^ound, where there is also a building locally known 
as St Palladius's chapel, undoubtedly ancient, though its 
precise date has not been ascertained. There is no doubt 
that the cultus of St Palladius was introduced into Fordoun 
at an early date. Dr Skene holds that the relics of the 
saint were carried thither by his disciple St Ternan, whose 
own cultus can be traced at Arbuthnot, some six miles away. 
According to a Fordoun tradition. Archbishop Schevez of 
St Andrews, towards the end of the fifteenth century, dis- 
covered the saint's resting-place in a dell just below where 
the parish manse now stands, and removed the relics to a 
richly-adorned shrine in the adjoining chapel, which became 
even more popular than before as a plac^ of pilgrimage. 
After the Reformation, Wishart of Pitarrow is said to have 
appropriated the costly shrine and scattered the saint's 
relics, — an act believed to have brought misfortune on the 
family of Pitarrow. In the same dell is St Palladius's Spring, 
about fifteen feet deep. It formerly flowed, at the distance 

^ Vide History of Laurencekirk, by Rev. J. R. Fraser. 

^ Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, vol. ii., Part I., p. 214. 


of several yards higher up, at the foot of a rock, but at the 
beginning of last century the rock was blasted and the 
spring was diverted. The tradition of the district is that 
when the well runs dry St Palladius will return to Fordoun. 

On Hirscha Hill, fully a mile north of Auchinblae, an 
annual market, known as Paldy or Pa'dy Fair, is still held 
on the third Friday of July, corresponding pretty much with 
6th July (O.S.), the saint's festival. One day now suffices 
for the feiir, but formerly four days were required for the 
transaction of business. Anciently the &ir was held in 
the Kirkton of Fordoun. The church was dedicated by 
David de Bernham in 1244, and there was no dubiety as to 
the name of the saint under whose patronage the building 
should be placed. The church could be none other than 
the kirk of St Palladius. In 1630 it was known as *^ the 
church of St Palladius, vulgarly called ' Pade Kirk in the 
Mearnes.' " 

Teunankirk in Banffshire is another name for Forglen 
parish, and represents St Adamnan's name in an altered 
form. It was constitued a parish about 1640, from portions 
of the parishes of Alvah and Mamoch. In mediaeval times 
the tenure of the lands of Forglen was connected with the 
custody of the brecbannoch of St Columba, which was not, 
as is commonly stated, a banner, but, as Dr Joseph Anderson 
has shown, a reliquary. These lands were granted by 
William the Lion — between the years 1204 and 1211 — ^to 
the Abbey of Arbroath, and in turn were granted by the 
abbot, at a later date, to laymen who could better perform 
the military service connected with the custody of the relic.^ 

Another Banifshire parish with kirk forming part of the 
name is Fumackirk, otherwise Botriphnie. In a " MS. 
Account of Scottish Bishops" in the library at Slains, of 
date 1726, we are told '* Botriffiiie or Fumac Kirk hath for its 
patron St Fumac, quhose wooden image is washed yearly, 
with much formality, by an old woman (quho keeps it) at his 
fair (on the third of May) in his own well here."* This 
image existed till the beginning of last century, when during 
a flood it was swept down the Isla and stranded at Banff, 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, pp. 242-244. 
' Kal., s,v, " Fumac." 


where by command of the parish minister it was committed 
to the flames as a relic of superstition.^ Jervise gives what 
may be presumed to be a local tradition regarding the saint's 
connection with Fumac Kirk. He says: "The well of the 
patron saint of the parish (Botriphnie), which is a very 
copious spring, is situated in the manse garden ; and there 
St Fumac bathed every morning, summer and winter, then 
dressed himself in green tartan, and did penance by crawling 
round the bounds of the parish on hands and knees, implor- 
ing God to protect it and its inhabitants from all sorts of 
plague and pestilence." * 

The parish of Botary — ^now part of Cairnie in the ancient 
lordship of Strathbogie — had its church dedicated to St 
Martin of Tours, and was in consequence known alter- 
natively as St Martin's Kirk. The ancient parish of CuUi- 
cudden, in the Black Isle, is believed to have been at one 
time styled Kirkmartin. The following particulars regarding 
it are given in the'N. S. A.':^ "It is probable that St 
Martin's or Kirkmartin, and not CuUicudden, was the name 
originally of this small but ancient parish. At the place of 
St Martin's, a small farm near its western extremity, the 
foundation of a church, surrounded by a burying-ground 
not now occupied, may still be seen. The probability is, 
therefore, that the parish church, dedicated to St Martin of 
Tours, was originally at the place qf St Martin's ; but the 
church being afterwards removed to the more centrical place 
of CuUicudden, the parish from this circumstance came to 
be so called." Close to the Deveron, in Glass parish, once 
stood Walla Kirk, recalling St Wallach. Anciently the 
church belonged to the dean and chapter of Aberdeen 
Cathedral,* and formed the kirk of the small parish of 
Dunmeith, annexed to Glass in 1618. Thirty years later, 
as we learn from the Presbytery Book of Strathbogie, " the 
minister and elderis ordanit to censure all superstitione at 
Wallak Kirk." The graveyard wall was originally built in 
a form resembling the capital letter D, but later alterations 

^ Illustrations of the Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, 
vol. ii. p. 253, note. 
* Epitaphs and Inscriptions, vol. ii. p. 13. 
' Ross, p. 38. * Reg. Episc. Aberd., vol. i. p. 29. 



have made it almost circular. The kirk itself has vanished ; 
some slight elevations here and there, hardly distinguishable 
from the graves around, alone show where it stood. The 
stone font, however, is still to be seen,^ The churchyard of 
Walla Kirk is described by Principal Sir W. D. Geddes as 
'' one of the most pleasing spots in respect of situation and 
surroundings and old associations that northern Scotland 
can show. Above, we discern the frowning crags of the 
Succoch, and over both kirkyard and glen there seems to 
brood a spirit of pastoral or rather Ossianic melancholy, 
for the si>ot lies secluded among the alders and hazels 
firinging a fine reach of the Deveron, which murmurs or 
gurgles sweetly along as if joyous at having escaped from 
the dark gorge beneath the Castle of Beldorney. The place 
is one of quiet peace in a lonely glen, with memories stretch- 
ing back into the early Celtic times." 

^ Collections (Aberdeen and BanflE), pp. 128 (note), 129 ; Antiquities of 
Aberdeen and Banff, vol. ii. p. 181. 



Chapel and JGrk—Praying'Statunu^-HaUow dufel'—Bartbol Cbc^l— 
Dyce— Chapel' Docbe—Cbapei of Ganoch—Pohutr Chapel is^c. — 

Chipper— Chapel Bonan—Ch^—Chape&om^ isTc Cht^dM— 

Chapel Knowe — Barcaple — Imicapel — &rkbMle — Chi^ Rassan 
—Chapel Pari, isTc.— Chapel Couch— Chapel rard—Chtfel Rone 
—Chapel Bum— Chapel GUI— Chapel Hope. 

Though in legal standing a chapel was inferior to a kirk, 
it is important enough in relation to topography to claim 
separate treatment. The term is derived from Low Latin 
capella. Its history is thus sketched in Dr Murray's ' New 
English Dictionary ': 1 "From the capella or cloak of St 
Martin, preserved by the Prankish kings as a sacred relic, 
which was borne before them in battle and used to give 
sanctity to oaths, the name was applied to the sanctuary in 
which this was preserved under the care of its capcUaniy or 
chaplains, and thence generally to a sanctuary containing 
holy relics attached to a palace, &c., and so to any private 
sanctuary or holy place, and finally to any apartment or 
building for orisons or worship not being a church." 

The mediaeval reverence for chapels was transmitted far 
into post- Reformation days. The older indeed the building, 
the greater was the sanctity believed to cling to its ruins. 
These latter became praying-stations, often resorted to at 
any particular crisis of life. " On the top of the Mull of 
Deerness,*' according to the * O. S. A.,* ^ *' there is a small 
chapel to which superstition has made even old age scramble 

1 5.V. "Chapel." * Vol. xx. p. 261. 

I ■ ' J « ' ^r^^^^'m^^^^^m^^^^-^^^^^m^^^^^^m^'^^F^mmm^^^^t 


through a path in many places scarce six inches broad, and 
where a single false step led to certain death." Martin thus 
describes the ritual practised at St Flannan's ruined chapel 
by fowlers from the Lewis after landing on Island More: 
"When they are come within about twenty Paces of the 
Altar, they all strip themselves of their upper Garments at 
once; and their upper Clothes being laid upon a stone, 
which stands there on purpose for that use, all the Crew 
pray three times before they beg^n Fowling : the first day 
they say the first Prayer, advancing towards the Chappel 
upon their Knees; the second Prayer is said as they go 
round the Chappel; the third is said hard by or at the 
Chappel : and this is their Morning-Service. Their Vespers 
are perform'd with the like number of Prayers." ^ 

A favourite pilgrim resort in post- Reformation times was 
the Chapel of Grace near the Spey, a few miles from Foch- 
abers, in Elginshire. Close to it was a spring known as 
the Well of Grace. The chapel, as Chambers indicates, 
though a mere ruin, was ''held in great veneration, and 
was resorted to by devout people from all parts of the 
north of Scotland." Chambers adds : " We hear of Lady 
Aboyne going to the Chapel of Grace every year, being a 
journey of thirty Scotch miles, the two last of which she 
always performed on her bare feet. About the time of the 
National Covenant (1638) what remained of the Chapel 
of Grace was thrown down, with a view to putting a stop 
to the practice; but this seems to have been far from an 
effectual measure. In a work written in 1775 the author 
says : ' In the north end of the parish [of Dundurcus] stood 
the Chapel of Grace, and near to it the well of that name, 
to which multitudes from the Western Isles do still resort, 
and nothing short of violence can restrain their super- 
stition.' " 2 

As the reverence for chapels came down the centuries so 
did their names. Accordingly we find the latter retained by 
places in the neighbourhood of the building or of its site. 
Beside the Stinchar, in Colmonell parish, Ayrshire, is a 
place called Hallow Chapel, where once stood a chapel 

^ Western Isles, p. 17. 

^ Domestic Annals of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 325, 326. 


dedicated to All-Saints.^ In Tarves parish, Aberdeenshire, 
is the quoad sacra parish of Barthol Chapel, so called prob- 
ably from a chapel to St Bartholomew, though Jervise 
prefers to regard Barthol as a corruption of Futhcul, ** a 
district whose chapel is mentioned with the parish church 
in charters of 1200-29."^ Dyce, in the same county, was 
formerly known as Chapel of St Fergus, near Moss Feetach, 
— St Fergus having been the patron of the parish.* Chapel- 
Dockie — an ancient site at Ethie- Beaton, in Monifieth 
parish, Forfarshire — is thought by Jervise to recall St 
Murdoch.^ Chapel of Garioch is an Aberdeenshire parish 
situated in the Garioch district. It once had a chapel, 
dedicated to the Virgin, where the parish church now 
stands. Polnar Chapel, otherwise Polander Chapel, a farm 
near the Don in Inverurie parish, recalls St ApoUinaris of 
Ravenna. On the northern slope of the Hill of Keillor, in 
the parish of Newtyle, Forfarshire, is the hamlet of Chapel 
of Keillor. Near it sepulchral remains were found, probably 
in the burying-ground of the now vanished chapel that gave 
name to the hamlet.^ The farm of Chapel of Barras, in 
Kinnefif parish, Kincardineshire, derived its name from a 
chapel dedicated to St John at the foot of St John's Hill.^ 

Sir Herbert Maxwell mentions Chipperfinian, in Mochrum 
parish, Wigtownshire, called by Pont Chappelfinian, — ^so 
named from St Finnan, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne 
in 652; and Chipperheron or Chapelheron, in Whithorn 
parish, suggesting St Kieran of Clonmacnoise, who died in 
548. In both cases Chipper is Gaelic tobar or iobair,'^ a 
spring. Chipperfinian has still the remains of a chapel, 
throwing light on its alternative name. Chapel Donan, 
dedicated to St Donan of Eigg, stood on the Carrick coast 
about two miles north-east of Girvan, on the lands of 
Craigoch. The " twenty-shilling lands of the chapel of St 
Donnan of Cragach " are mentioned in a charter of 1404.^ 

Chapel wells are to be found in various parts of the 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 542. ^ Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 355. 

' O. S. A., vol. xiii. p. 81. * Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 3x9. 

' Marshall's Historic Scenes of Forfarshire, p. 132. 
* N. S. A., Kincardine, p. 319. ^ Gsill. Top. 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 539. 


country, telling of the existence of some neighbouring 
chapel even when the building itself has passed away.^ 
Some places bear the name of Chapel simply. There is a 
village of this name in Abbotshall parish, Fife ; and there 
is another near Gateside in Neilston parish, Renfrewshire. 
In T)mron parish, Dumfriesshire, are the lands of Chapel, 
now iforming part of the farm of Craigturrah ; * and we find 
other examples in the parishes of Bothwell, Dirleton, 
Lilliesleaf, and Lauder. Chapel, to the east of Springwood 
House in Kelso parish, is believed to have derived its name 
from an oratory to St Thomas, burned by the Earl of 
Hertford in 1545. In the seventeenth century, Stranraer, 
or at least part of it, had the alternative name of ** The 
Chapel." Symson says: "On the east end of the town 
there is a good house pertaining to Sir John Dalrymple, 
younger of Stair, call'd the Castle of the Chapel, where also 
there is a chapel, now ruinous, from whence all on the east 
side of the bourn is called *The Chapel.'"^ Chapel is a 
farm about two miles from Cumnock, named after a chapel 
dedicated to All- Saints. Near Moffat is the farm of Chapel, 
with the remains of the building that supplied its name. 

Chapel, on the lands of Lainshaw, in Stewarton parish, 
Ayrshire, takes us back to the pre -Reformation chapel, 
dedicated to the Virgin, that once stood there. Chapel ton 
was the former name of the place, indicating the toun — ue,, 
the house or cluster of buildings in the vicinity of the 
chapel. A dedication to the Virgin at Orton, in Rothes 
parish, Elginshire, originated the name of the neighbouring 
farm of Chapel. When alluding to Chapelton, in Leslie 
parish, Aberdeenshire, Jervise remarks : " Nothing now 
remains of the old place of worship which is said to have 
stood at Chapelton, and whose old font is built into the 
farmhouse. According to tradition the church was de- 
molished long ago by the tenant of the farm, who is said 
to have paid dearly for his sacrilegious act, which was 
punished by the loss of * four pair of horse.' " * 

Regarding Chapelton near Dumbarton, Cosmo Innes 

^ For list of chapel wells see * P. S. A. Scot.,' vol. tcviu p. 203. 

^ N. S. A., Dumfries, p. 474. 

> Description of Galloway, pp. 60, 61. * Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 335. 


says: ''A chapel, dedicated to the Virgin , stood near the 
burghy the chaplain of which received twenty shillings out 
of the king's ferms of the burgh. It may perhaps have 
been at Chapelton, a place marked on Blaeu's map a little 
to the eastward of the town." ^ Chapelton, on the lands 
of Dillavaird in Glenbervie parish, Kincardineshire, keeps 
alive the memory of an ancient dedication to the Virgin, 
not far from whose site is St Mary's Well. The parishes 
of Killearnan, Methlick, Mamoch, Glassford, Cumber- 
nauld, and Borgue have each a Chapelton or Chapeltown. 
Inveravon parish, Banffshire, has two Chapeltons^-one in 
the Braes of Glenlivet, and the other at Kilmaichlie, where 
traces of a chapel and cemetery were visible sixty or seventy 
years ago.* 

Reference is made in a fifteenth-century charter to the 
hermit of the chapel of St Mary of the forest of Kilgary, 
in Menmuir barony, Forfarshire. This chapel no longer 
exists, but its stones were used in building the steadings 
of the present farmhouse of Chapelton, in the neighbour- 
hood of its site. The lands of Chapelton, forming part of 
those of Arrat and Caldhame, near Brechin in the same 
county, derived their name from an ancient chapel to St 
Mary Magdalene locally known as Maidlin Chapel. The 
chapel was ruinous about the middle of the fifteenth 
century, and was then rebuilt by John de Camoth, Bishop 
of Brechin ; but now hardly any traces of the building are 
visible. The bur)dng-ground, however, is still surrounded 
by a stone wall bordered by a few trees.' 

Chapelton in Drumblade parish, Aberdeenshire, recalls a 
chapel to the Nine Maidens removed some fifty years ago. 
Near its site is a spring known as the Chapel Well. Jervise 
thinks that a chapel dedicated to St Menimis probably stood 
at Chapelton, about two miles below the bridge of Marnoch, 
in Aberchirder parish in the same shire.^ A chapel to the 
Virgin, surrounded by venerable trees, gave name to the 
hamlet of Chapelton of Boysack in Inverkeillor parish, 
Forfarshire.^ At Chapel House, in Dunlop parish, were 

^ O. P. S., vol i. p. 24. 

' Warden's Angus, vol. iii. pp. 34, 35. * Epitaphs, voL i. p. 234. 

' Ibid., p. 325. 

' N. S. A, Banff, p. 133. 

flfiia. vol. iii. 00. ia. ik. 

' Ibid., p. 325. 

CHAPELS. 1 59 

to be seen till about 1830 the ruins of a pre-Reformation 
place of worship dedicated to the Virgin.^ She had also 
a chapel in Old Meldrum parish, Aberdeenshire, on a farm 
still called from it Chapelhouse. When the parish article 
in the * N. S. A/' was written, the foundations of the build- 
ing were to be seen surrounded by a graveyard. A stone, 
believed to be the font, was also visible. Near the site is 
a spring appropriately named the Lady Well. Chapelerne, 
in Crossmichael parish, probably means the Chapelhouse, 
from A.S. aem, a place or dwelling. In the Cromar district 
of Aberdeenshire is the Eman, a tributary of the Don, giving 
name to Chapel-Eman in its neighbourhood. It is probable 
that the stream is called after the saint of the same name. 

We find Chapel- Hill occurring repeatedly, but one or 
two examples must suffice. On the farm of Coul-Gask, in 
Trinity-Gask parish, is Chapel-Hill, named after a building 
that disappeared long ago; and there is another Chapel* 
Hill near the Lyne, in West Linton parish. On the farm 
of Chapel Hill, a little to the south of the Castle of Rothes 
in Elginshire, once stood the chapel of the castle. The 
burying-ground survived the structure.* There was a chapel 
at Chapel-Hill, close to the mansion-house of Hillhouse, in 
Dundonald parish. Some traces of the building were visible 
in 1841 ; ^ and a stone, believed to have been the font, was 
pointed out, built into the garden wall. On the west side 
of Culter Water in Lanarkshire, a little below Culter village, 
once stood a religious house founded by Walter Bysset in 
the reign of David II. Its site is still known as Chapel- 
Hill.^ Chapel-hill at Rothesay in Bute was formerly known 
as St Bride's Hill, from a chapel on it dedicated to that 
saint. There was a cemetery round the building. The hill 
was bought in i860 by the Town Council of Rothesay, 
when chapel and cemetery were both removed.^ The lands 
of Capelhills in Aberdeenshire became Newhills in the 
seventeenth century, giving name to the present parish 
of Newhills. 

The site of St Cuthbert's chapel, connected with the 

1 N. S. A., Ayr, p. 294. ■ Aberdeen, p. 477. 

' N. S. A., Elgin, p. 2J3. ^ Ibid., Ayr, p. 677. ^ Ibid., Lanark, p. J45. 

* Hewison's Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. pp. 232, 253. 


monastery of Old Melrose, continues to be called Chapel- 
Knowe or Chapel-Knoll. There is a Chapel-Knowe in Half- 
Morton parish, and there is another in Dalserf parish. 
There was once a chapel to the west of Leitholm village 
in Eccles parish. Its site is marked by an old ash-tree 
called the " chapel -tree," growing on the summit of the 
Chapel Knowe. The adjoining ground was used for in- 
terments, but long ago passed into cultivation.^ About 
half a mile from the Mill of Conveth in Laurencekirk parish, 
Kincardineshire, the foundations of a building, evidently a 
chapel, were dug up about 1830. The writer of the parish 
article in the 'N. S. A.'^ remarks: "A circular tumulus of 
rock, immediately adjoining, is to this day called the Chapel- 
Knap." Chapel-brae is the name given to the hill-road at 
the foot of Morrone as one ascends from the west end of 
Castleton of Braemar, but no remains of a building are 
now visible. 

Barcaple, in Tongland parish, is the Hill-top of the 
Chapel — from Gaelic barr, a top, and caipeail, a chapel; 
while Drumchapel, in New Kilpatrick parish, has for prefix 
the Gaelic druim, the back, hence a ridge. The chapel in 
this case was dedicated to the Virgin. Iniscapel, in Kil- 
brandon and Kilchattan parish, is the Island of the Chapel, 
from Gaelic innts, an island. Kirkhobble, in Penningham 
parish, according to Sir Herbert Maxwell, is the Quarter- 
land of the Chapel, from Gaelic ceathramhaidh chaipeail (pro- 
nounced ''carrou happle"). On Blaeu's map the place is 
marked " Kerychapell." From the 'N. S. A.*' we learn 
that Kirkhobble is pronounced Kirkhapel or Kirkhapple, 
and that in its neighbourhood is Glenhapple, otherwise 
Glenhapples. Chapel-Rossan, in Kirkmaiden parish, tells 
us of a headland where a chapel once stood, rossan being a 
diminutive of Gaelic ros, a promontory. 

We find Chapel Park indicating a piece of land where a 
chapel was erected ; but the name is now in most cases the 
only memorial of the building. This is true of Chapel Park 
in the Aberdeenshire parishes of Forgue and Belhelvie. 
The latter has two Chapel Parks, one at Milden, the other 

^ N. S. A., Berwick, p. 50. * Kincardine, p. 129. 

• Wigtown, p. 176. 


at Ardo. Beside the hamlet of Lynchat in Alvie parish » 
Inverness-shire, is Chapelpark, recalling a chapel dedicated 
to St Moluag of Lismore. There are faint traces of a build- 
ing at Chapel-park in Ladykirk parish, Berwickshire. Re- 
garding the site, the writer of the parish article in the 
* N. S. A.* says : " In what is called the Chapel Park, a 
little lower down the river than Upsetlington, a few large 
stones, and the superior richness of the soil, mark where 
the ancient monastery stood/' ^ What is here called the 
monastery was evidently St Leonard's Hospital, founded 
by Robert Byset, who received a grant of the manor of 
Upsetlington in the twelfth century. Chalmers says: 
'' Robert Byset granted this hospital, with its pertinents, 
to the monks of Kelso, on condition that their abbot should 
keep a chaplain there ; and should maintain in it two poor 
persons, whom the donor and his heirs should have the 
right of placing therein."* In his charter Robert Byset 
refers to the establishment as '' Hospitale Sancti Leonardi 
in territorio meo de Upsedilingtone juxta Twede ex opposito 
de Horwerdene fundatum."' 

Chapel Haugh, in Whittinghame parish. East Lothian, is 
a glen where stood the chapel belonging to the now ruined 
baronial residence of Penshiel.^ In East Kilbride parish, 
Lanarkshire, are Chapelside and Kapelrig; and there is a 
Capelrig in Mearns parish, Renfrewshire, where there was 
a chapel believed to have belonged to the Knights-Templars.* 
In Aberdour parish, Aberdeenshire, on the lands of Auch- 
medden, is Chapelden, still marked in 1840 by a ruined 
building whence was brought the hexagonal stone font now 
at the Old Kirk of Aberdour.^ Chapel-Shade at Backboath, 
in Carmyllie parish, Forfarshire, has for suffix shedy a portion 
of land. Chapel-green, in Kilsyth parish, explains itself as 
far as the green is concerned ; but nothing definite is known 
of its chapel. There is reason to believe that Chapel-field, 
in St Cyrus parish, Kincardineshire, was so named from a 
dedication to St Laurence.^ 

^ Berwick, p. 182. ' Caledonia, vol. ii. p. J49. 

' Liber de Calchou, p. 195. ^ N. S. A., Haddington, p. 66. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. pp. 98, 100. * Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 55. 

^ Jervise's Memorials, vol. ii. p. 162. 


1 62 CHAPELS. 

At Lurgy in New Kilpatrick parish, is a place known as 
Chapel-Couchy but the meaning of the word is uncertain. 
According to the ' N. S. A.' ^ it was the site of a small 
chapel, " of which few memorials now remain. The place 
where it stood is pointed out by the name Chapel Couch ; 
and in the tradition of the neighbourhood the auld kirk is 
still spoken of. There was a cemetery attached to it, and 
till within these thirty years several tombstones remained.*' 
Chapel Croft and Chapel Yard occur in Leochel-Cushnie 
parish, Aberdeenshire, and indicate a connection with now 
vanished buildings. On a knoll to the south-east of Aldbar 
railway station, in Forfarshire, is the burying-ground of 
Chapel- Yard. Regarding the spot Jervise says : " This was 
possibly the site of the chapel which was dependent upon 
the kirk of Rescobie in the thirteenth century. From a 
well near the burial-place being called S. Madoc, it is 
probable that the old church or chapel had been dedicated 
to that saint."' A piece of land with adjacent garden, at 
Dirleton in East Lothian, was formerly known as Capell- 
Yaird, and is believed to have been so called from All- Saints' 
Chapel, founded by Alexander de Vallibus during the reign 
of Alexander III.' Chapel- Yard was the name given in 1605 
to the garden of St Saviour's chapel in Tongland parish, 
Kirkcudbrightshire.^ We also find Chapel Walls occurring 
in topography. 

The writer of the article on Dalserf parish in the 
* N. S. A.' remarks : ** In 1563 a mob came to pull down 
the old Romish chapel at Broomhill ; but the lady of Sir 
John Hamilton, meeting them on the way, assured them 
that they might save themselves the trouble, as she meant 
to make a good barn of it. With this statement they were 
satisfied, and the chapel was permitted to remain till 1724, 
when it fell down of its own accord. The field where it 
stood is still called Chapel Rone." ^ Rone is probably the 
word given in Jamieson's ' Scottish Dictionary ' as signify- 
ing shrub or bush, and seems to occur in Rhone Hill and 
Rhone Park in Crossmichael parish, Kirkcudbrightshire. 

^ Dumbarton, p. 49. '^ Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 159. 

' N. S. A., Haddtng^ton, p. 211. * R. M. S. 

• Lanark, p. 753. 


The parishes of Dalserf and Larbert have a Chapel- Bum, 
and there is a stream of the same in Crawford parish, with 
an ancient burying-ground on its bank. About three miles 
from Inverurie is the Chapel Pool in the Don, so called 
from an ancient dedication to St ApoUinaris in its im- 
mediate neighbourhood.^ Chapel -ford is a farm in the 
Enzie district of Banfiishire, near a chapel dedicated to St 
Ninian. In the ancient Peeblesshire parish of Glenholm is 
Chapel-Gill, the suffix being Scandinavian gil^ a narrow 
glen. Hope occurs frequently in the Border district to 
indicate a sheltered valley, and we find it in Chapel-hope 
at the head of St Mary's Loch, where the foundations of 
a chapel were for long traceable under their covering of 
moss. In the immediate neighbourhood are the Braes of 
Chapel-hope, among the outskirts of which many persecuted 
Covenanters sought refuge. Of their experiences in these 
upland retreats no one who has read ''The Brownie of 
Bodsbeck" can be ignorant. 

^ Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 360. 



Wayside crosses — Palmer s Cross — Stonecrosshill — Crossbeg and Crossmore 
Ardnacross — P'dgrtm crosses — GoodGebum — Crossrtg — Stobcross — 
Examples of Crossbill — Corsheuch — Penny cross — Croscrag, isfc. — 
Corstorphine — CorscUucb — Corsbope — Croceden — Crossgills — Glencross 
— Corsdaill — Cross acre^ iffc* — Crossjlat — CorsRe — Cross^vood — 
Crosstvaters — Corse^wcdl — Crueshnll — Ruthwell : its cross — Porting 
cross — Crossford — Roodyard — Spots associated wth early saints — Cross 
as place-name — Crosschapel — Cross kirk — Holyrood Abbey — Black Rood 
of Scotland, 

Realism was strong in Scotland in mediseval times, as it is 
in Roman Catholic countries to-day, and many a cross was 
to be seen throughout our land appealing to the religious 
sentiments of the period. Certain shrines were held in 
special honour, and on the roads leading to them it was 
customary to place a cross where the eye of the pilgrim 
first caught a glimpse of the venerated building.^ Palmer's 
Cross, according to Bishop Forbes, is the name of a district 
in Arbroath, and of a spot near Elgin, so called from the 
palmers who went on pilgrimage to the abbey of the former 
and the cathedral at the latter.^ In the parish of St Andrews- 
Lhanbryd is a rising ground on the road between Inver- 
ness and Aberdeen. At that point Elgin cathedral comes 
into sight, and there a cross once stood, giving the name 
of Stonecrosshill to the adjoining farm.® 

^ Martin, in his 'Western Isles,' p. 28, says : "They [the churches and 
chapels of Lewis] were in g^reater veneration in those days than now. It 
was the constant practice of the natives to kneel at first sig'ht of the church, 
thoug^h at a great distance from them, and then they said their Pater- 

« Kal., s.v, "Palmer." » Gaz., s,v, "St Andrews." 



Blain, in his ' History of Bute/ * remarks : " After passing 
the quarry (south of Rothesay) we fall in with a small farm- 
stead called Crossbeg ; and farther forward^ on the summit 
of a rising ground in Lochly, over which the road formerly 
lay, was another station called Crossmore. . . . The spot 
where stood the Crossbeg, or little cross, is not now particu- 
larly known; but that of Crossmore, or the greater cross, 
is still distinguishable by the remains of a small mound 
whereon it had been erected.'* Beside the ruined church of 
Kilchousland, in Campbeltown parish, is to be seen a frag- 
ment of a sculptured cross, having on one side a two-handed 
sword, a man on horseback with a spear in his hand, and 
a dog pursuing a deer ; and on the other a galley with furled 
sail, animals, and knotwork.^ In the neighbourhood of 
the church are two farms named respectively Crossibeg and 
Ardnacross. Near the farm buildings of the latter a cross 
once stood.* Ardnacross means the Height of the Cross, 
and corresponds to Aird-na-Croise in Mull. 

Wayfarers coming from the west to the church of Strath- 
blane, in Stirlingshire, anciently found a cross standing on 
the top of the hill marking the spot where the church came 
into view, and "where the pilgrim said his first prayer when 
approaching the sacred edifice." * The place still bears the 
name of "The Crossbill." St Margaret's shrine at Dunferm- 
line attracted many a pilgrim over the Firth by way of 
Queensferry. There is a rocky eminence in Dalmeny parish, 
on the south side of the road from Edinburgh, called Crossall 
(otherwise Crossbill), where are still to be seen the remains 
of a mediaeval cross, marking the spot that afforded the 
first glimpse of the abbey. On the summit of the pass 
from Penicuik over the Pentlands, at the height of 1500 
feet, once stood a cross. **The stone which formed its 
pedestal still remains, with two deep indentations which 
have evidently been worn by the knees of the many pass- 
ing worshippers." * 

A wayside cross once stood on the south side of the old 

' p. 28. ^ Stuart's Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. p. 30. 

' White's Archaeol. Sketches, Kintyre, p. 112, note. 

* Guthrie^mith's Strathblane, p. 168. 

« N. S. A., Mid-Lothian, p. 36 ; P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxxiii. p. 334. 


road between Perth and Methven ; but when the road was 
altered and ploughed up, the monument was removed to a 
field on Goodliebum farm. It had a representation of the 
Crucifixion sculptured on one side, and of a lion on the 
other. In 1798 the figure of our Lord was fairly complete, 
the head being surrounded by a "glory," but by i860 the 
upper part of the figure bad disappeared. The monument 
was originally cruciform, but even at the former date the 
arms were wanting.^ There are, or were till recent years, 
the remains of a wayside cross at Preston, near Duns, and 
at Crossrig, a few miles from Biggar.^ 

The lands of Stobcross at Glasgow derived their name in 
all probability from a wooden wayside cross set up at the 
meeting of two roads — one leading to the Clyde, the other 
to Partick.' A conveyance of date nth May 175 1 mentions 
the " Manor Place of Stobcross," with dovecot, gardens, and 
orchards.^ On a rising ground opposite Markinch Hill in 
Fife, on the side of the highway passing to the north, is, or 
was till lately, a broad stone about seven feet high, called 
the Stobb Cross. It is described in the 'O. S. A.'*^ as a 
very coarse piece of work, without any sculpture or characters 
on it that can lead to the knowledge of the design of its 
erection. Unless a wooden cross once stood beside the 
stone, and transferred its own name to it, one is at a loss 
as to the interpretation of the word. 

Crossbill has just been referred to. Other examples are 
to be found in the parishes of Slains, Ellon, and Dyce in 
Aberdeenshire ; in the barony of Innes and Garmoch, Elgin- 
shire ; and farther south in the parishes of Auchtermuchty 
and TuUiallan ; and on the lands of Inchegall, in the barony 
of Lochquhoreschire, referred to in a charter of 1546.^ In 
1614 some Templar-land in Haddingtonshire is mentioned 
as situated in Corshill.^ Ayrshire has Crossbill, a quoad 
sacra parish in Kirkmichael parish, with a village of the 
same name three miles south-east of Maybole; and Crossbill, 

^ Stuart's Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. p. 48. 

' P. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. p. 88. Cors, Croce, and Cross are used inter- 
' Byg-one Glasgfow. * Rev. Dr Gordon's Glasgfhu Facies, p. 11 26. 

■ Vol. xii. p. 552. • R. M. S. ' Ibid. 


Raster and Wester, in Kilwinning parish, where we find 
also Crossholm and Corsehill Muir, a rising ground on 
which witches used to be burned.^ Crossbill is one of the 
southern suburbs of Glasgow. We find Crossbill in the 
parishes of Strathaven, Old Monkland, and Rutherglen, with 
Crossflat and Temple-Cross in the last of these. When 
writing of the Crossbill of Rutherglen in 1793, Ure says : 
'' Near the cross was a stone about ten feet high by three 
and a half broad. It was ornamented with various figures. 
The most remarkable was that of our Saviour riding upon an 
ass. There were several ornaments and inscriptions round 
the figures. This religious monument during the last perse- 
cution in Scotland fell a sacrifice to the fury of a mob ex- 
asperated at the violent methods that were then used to 
enforce a mode of religion contrary to the consciences of the 
people. In one night the whole was broken in pieces, and 
not a fragment preserved." * 

In East Kilbride parish are ''Corse, Corseland, and 
Crossbill, near the foot of which is St Mungo's Well, a 
copious spring." Regarding East Kilbride, Ure remarks: 
''Several proper names have originated from crosses that 
were anciently erected in the parish, — as Crossbill, White- 
cross, Wardlawcross, &c. Near the cross was commonly 
a heap of stones which was used as a resting-place for 
funerals occasionally passing that way. One of these 
ominous resting-places still remains on the top of Wardlaw- 
cross." In Erskine parish, Renfrewshire, is Crossbill, 
commanding a fine view of the Firth of Clyde. We find 
Corsehill in Galloway — viz., in Kirkpatrick-Durham parish, 
and on Kirkland in Dairy parish.' Crosslaw has the same 
meaning as Crossbill, from A.S. law, a hill. Close to 
Lanark are the lands of Crosslaw, bought by the burgh in 
1675.^ Corsbak, otherwise Corsbalk, in Caithness, is 
probably connected with the Norse bakke, a hill. If so, it 
is synon}mious with Crossbill and Crosslaw. We have a 
height suggested by the name of Corsheuch, near the 
monastery of Pittenweem, in Fife. There is a Corsebrae 

1 Smith's Prehistoric Man in Ayrshire, p. 61. 

* Rutherglen and East Kilbride, p. 132. 

' Gall. Top. * Lanark Burg^h Records, p. 199. 

1 68 CROSSES. 

(Crossbrae) in Balmerino parish^ in the same shirei. 
Pennycross, a district in Mull, means, according to 
Professor Mackinnon, the Penny — Le., the Penny land — of 
the Cross.^ The cross in this instance stands on a rising 
ground eight miles from Bunessan, near the south shore of 
Loch Scriden. It is four feet six inches in height. The 
shaft is of slate and the pedestal of sandstone, the whole 
being supported on blocks of basalt forming a heap some 
five feet high.^ We find Croscrag, on the lands of Berntoun 
(Barntoun), Mid- Lothian, mentioned in the year 1477; 
Corscrag, at Stevinstoun in Cunningham, in 1528; and 
Corscraig, in Kirkcudbrightshire, in 1587-88, — all signifying 
'*the Crag or Rock of the Cross."* Stoneykirk and New 
Luce have each a Craigencrosh, and there is a Craigencross 
in Portpatrick parish.* In Erskine parish, Renfrewshire, 
is the farm of Drumcross — i.e., "the Ridge of the Cross." 
Knockcrosh, in Balmaclellan parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, 
is the "Hill pf the Cross or Gallows." In Highland 
districts, Tom-na-crosh — i.e,, the Knoll of the Cross or 
Gallows — recalls the days when the laird exercised "the 
right of pit and gallows," — a right that ceased in 1748, 
when heritable jurisdictions were abolished by Act of 

Corstorphine, near Edinburgh, appears in the twelfth 
century as Crostorfine. Its chapel was then dependent on 
the church of St Cuthbert's, and both were granted by 
David I. to the canons of Holyrood.^ A collegiate church, 
dedicated to St John the Baptist, was founded at Cor- 
storphine in 1429 by Sir John Forrester, who died in 1440, 
and whose mail-clad effigy still lies in an arched recess 
within the parish church.* Three etymologies of the name 
have been suggested, all regarding the first syllable as 
cross. Chalmers says : "It obtained doubtless that name 
from a cross which may have been erected in memory of 
some person having the dignified name of Torfin. But it 
is not easy to connect it with Torfin, the grandson of 

' Scotsman, Article No. xiii. '^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. x. p. 596. 

» R. M. S. * Gall. Top. 

^ Liber Cart. S. Crucis, p. 4. 

* Collegiate Churches of Mid-Lothian, pp. 295-298. 


Malcolm IL"^ "Another derivation," according to the 
writer of the article in the ' N. S. A.,' * is " from the Norman 
or French words crais d'ore fin^ or * cross of fine gold.' " 
The writer adds : ** This we think the more probable from 
the circumstance that the earliest proprietors of Crostorfin 
were Normans, who in that age were devoted friends of 
the Church, and fond of the emblem of the cross. Tradition 
likewise supports this derivation, and connects with it the 
existence of a gold cross in the chapel of the estate in early 
times." The Rev. J. B. Johnston thinks that the name 
means the Cross of the White Clear Hill, — from torr, a hill, 
and fionuy white. He equates the last two syllables with 
Torphins in Aberdeenshire. The latter, however, is accented 
on the second syllable, and cannot therefore be the same as 
the concluding part of Corstorphine, which has the accent 
on the first.* The second etymology given above is im- 
probable. The first is feasible, but does not rest on any 
definite historical knowledge. The problem, indeed, is 
difficult, and still waits for a solution. 

Hollows as well as hills are associated with the cross. 
In the lordship of Ettrick Forest is, or was in 1587, 
Corscleuch, signifying *' the Cleuch or narrow Valley of the 
Cross." About the same time the barony of Bedrule, in 
Roxburghshire, had also a Corscleuch. Hope, a valley, 
appears in the name of Corshope in the barony of Heriot- 
mure, Mid- Lothian, mentioned in a charter of 1622.* 
Croceden was on the lands of Panmure, Forfarshire, in 
1610.* Gill is the Norse for a ravine. The word is found 
in Crossgills, a hamlet about half a mile north-west of 
Ruthwell station, in Dumfriesshire. Cross and dale are 
associated in topography. In 1650 we find Corsdaill (Cross- 
dale) in the barony of Farr, Sutherland ; and in 1596 
Corsdaillis (Crossdales) in the lordship of Barry, Forfar- 

In Mid- Lothian is Glencorse parish, with a somewhat 
chequered history. Dr Hew Scott says: "Glencross or 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 787. '^ Mid-Lothian, p. 205. 

' Torfin is the name of a tract of country in West Calder parish. — 
*N. S. A., Mid-Lothian,' p. 205. 
* R. M. S. • Ibid. • Ibid. 


Glencorse was a parish before the Reformation, but was 
held with Dalkeith and Lasswade 1574-1580, and with 
Lasswade 1585-1586- In 1588 it was held with Penicuik, 
in 1589 downwards with Lasswade, to which it was united 
by Act of Parliament before January 1611. In 1615 various 
communings were held with the Presbsrtery that a minister 
might be procured for itself, which probably led to the 
appointment of a colleague for Lasswade in 1616, who 
probably had a special charge of Glencorse, and led to its 
being stated that the erection of the parish took place in 
1616, though it is certain no minister was appointed till 
1636/'^ Regarding its name Chalmers says: "This glen 
or vale was so called from a remarkable cross which had 
been here erected by pious hands, and which also gave 
a name to Crosshouses." ' It is difficult to determine 
whether the name originated under Celtic or Teutonic 
influences. If under the former, it means the Glen of the 
Cross; if under the latter, the Cross of the Glen. Mr 
Johnston gives a different interpretation. He thinks that 
Glencorse is '' the Glen of the Bog or Moss " (Welsh and 
Cornish cors).* 

Portions of land are to be met with in association with 
crosses, sometimes as the plots of ground where such monu- 
ments were erected, sometimes as the ground devoted to the 
upkeep of some altarage of the Holy Cross or Rood. Thus 
in different parts of the country we find such names as 
Corseland, Corsrig, Cross-Acre, Rood-land, Rood-rig, Rood- 
Acre, Crossfield, and Cross&ulds. Cosmo Innes mentions 
that attached to the cross of Melrose is a piece of ground 
called the Corse Rig, and that about half a mile west of the 
town is another known as the High Cross.^ We find 
Corsrigs in the barony of Spittal at Aberdeen, mentioned 
in a charter of date 1585.^ Achadh-na-Croise, in Mull, 
is the Gaelic for Field of the Cross, and one would be 
inclined to say that Dalcross in Inverness-shire has the 
same meaning, were it not that the old form of the latter 

1 Fasti Ecdesise Scoticaiue, Part I., p. aSow 

* CjJedonia^ voL ii. p. 809. 

< Scottish Place-NaoMs, s.v. «' Glencorae." 

* O. P. S., VOL i. p. a86w » R. M. S. 


was Dealg-na-Ros, which has nothing to do either with field 
or cross, though its etymology is uncertain. Crocequa in 
Bower parish, Caithness, is from the Norse quqy, an en- 
closure, specially for sheep. 

Level spaces of ground where a cross stood were indicated 
by the name Crossflat or Crossflats — e.g., Crossflat, Easter 
and Wester, within the regality of Paisley; Crossflat be- 
longing to Dryburgh Abbey ; a croft of seven acres at Holy- 
wood called Crossflat; and Crossflats at Linlithgow. In 
a charter of 1635 we read of Croceflatt and Templar-lands 
of " Corsbethlein in the barony of Dirltoun." There is a 
group of names of doubtful etymology resembling Crossflat 
or Crossflats, but without the /— ^-^.j Corslat at Ochiltree ; 
Corslat at Castle Semple; Corslat near Dumbarton (now 
Crosslet); Easter and Wester Corslattis of Balligerno, 
Perthshire ; Corslet at Meigle ; and Corsleittis in the barony 
of Du£fus — all occurring in charters between 1585 and 1624.^ 
Corslie or Crosslee is evidently connected with A.S. leak, 
Mid. Eng. % or lay, and Mod. Eng. lea, a meadow.^ The 
' Register of the Great Seal ' gives a Corslie in Selkirkshire 
and another in Renfrewshire, the latter being Crosslee in 
Houston and Killallan parish. We find also Corsleis be- 
longing to the monastery of Holywood, and Corsleyis in the 
lordship of Pluscarden in Moray. Close to Moffat is Corsley 
Bum, flowing into the Annan. When speaking of Lesma- 
hagow parish, Mr J. B. Greenshields remarks: "There is 
still a morass extending from the east of the parish towards 
its centre, which is known as the Broken Cross Muir. 
Sound deduction would lead to the conclusion that some- 
where in this moor there stood a cross which became 
ruinous or was broken; but as there is no record bearing 
upon it, ample scope is left for conjecture."' 

The parishes of Balmaghie and Borgue have each a 
Corseyard, and Crosswood is also found in the former.* 
The lands of Corswode, alias Corswode-burne (in Mid- 
Calder parish), were confirmed to John Sandilands of Calder 

^ R. M. S. The compiler of the index to vol. 1593- 1608 equates Cors- 
fiattis at Linlithgfow with Corslattis and Corsleittis, also at Linlithg'ow. 

* Blackie's Diet, of Place-Names, s,v, ** Lea." 

* P. S. A. Scot., vol. vii. p. 260. * Gall. Top. 


at Linlithgow, on the 19th of December 1552.^ Middle 
Crosswood and Crosswoodhill are the names of two small 
properties in the parish of West Calder. Turriflf parish, 
Aberdeenshire, has, or had in 1620, certain lands called 
Corswodheid, alias Lidmoir. Corskellie in Rothiemay 
parish, Banffshire, may be connected with Gaelic coillCf a 
wood. There certainly is or was a Wodheid in the same 
district. In connection with the iirst syllable of the name, 
it is worth remembering that a fair on Holy-Cross Day, 
(3rd May) was long ago instituted in the parish. 

Water, as well as wood, is associated with the cross. 
Crosswaters is a stream in Wigtownshire flowing into the 
water of Luce at New Luce village. Its etymology, how- 
ever, is doubtful: Linncrosh is a pool in the Minnick, in 
Minnigaff parish, Kirkcudbrightshire. It signifies the Pool 
of the Cross or Gallows. Certain springs were called Cross- 
wells or Roodwells from having a cross in their immediate 
neighbourhood. At Falkirk, as Mr James Drummond tells 
us, " the old site of the cross is occupied by a public well, 
which is surmounted by the Scottish Lion. This may have 
formed part of the ancient market cross."* The Cross 
Well at Linlithgow is an elaborate structure. It stands 
beside the town -hall, and is supplied with water from a 
spring near Friar's Brae. The original stone-work is be- 
lieved to date from about 1535. The structure was several 
times repaired, having suffered from decay as well as from 
Cromwell's soldiers, and early in last century was rebuilt 
after the old model. It is adorned with several curious 
figures, and is crowned by a unicorn supporting the Arms 
of Scotland. A piece of ground near the churchyard 
of Crail in Fife is named, in a charter of date 1517, the 
Rudwell Croft. The spring known as the Crosswell, in 
Kirkcolm parish, Wigtownshire, has given name to Corse- 
wall, — ^a mansion, a ruined castle, and a headland, the last 
crowned by a lighthouse, completed in 1816, with a lantern 
112 feet above high-water mark. There was a Corswall 
forming part of the lands of Whitekirk, Haddingtonshire, 
in 1633.' According to the *N. S. A.,'* Crueshill, in 

* R. M. S. ^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. p. 113. 

3 R. M. S. < Perth, p. 997. 


Dunkeld and Dowally parish, means Crossbill, having de- 
rived its name from a spring known as Sancta Cruxwell. 
Sir Herbert Maxwell informs us that Ruthwell in Dumfries- 
shire, locally pronounced Riv-vell, is "really Rood Well,^ 
for so the holy well there was named from the rood or cross 
— ^the Ruthwell Cross — so well known to antiquaries."* 
This splendid monument of Christian antiquity is believed 
to date from the second half of the seventh century. It 
now stands in an apse specially built for it at Ruthwell 
parish church in 1887, where it enjoys the protection of the 
Ancient Monuments Act; but tradition says that it origin- 
ally stood at Priestwoodside, now Priestside, on the shore 
of the Solway. The cross is 17J feet high. Its shaft is 
2 feet broad at the base, and 15 inches in thickness. As 
Dr Joseph Anderson remarks, " the monument is sculptured 
with figure-subjects on its broad faces, and on its sides 
with scroll-work representing a vine with birds and beasts 
lodging in the convolutions of its branches, and eating of 
its fruit." » 

Special interest attaches to the inscriptions on the cross, 
which are partly Latin, in Roman capitals, and partly 
Anglic or Northumbrian English, in Runic characters. The 
Runic writing consists of verses from the poem "The 
Dream of the Holy Rood," composed by Caedmon,* who 
died in 680. The cross stood in the old church of Ruthwell 
till 1642, when it was thrown down by order of the General 
Assembly that met at St Andrews on the 27th July of that 
year. It lay on the floor of the church till soon after 1772, 
when it was cast out and remained neglected in the church- 
yard till 1802. It was then removed by the minister of the 

> Chalmers derives Ruthwell from A.S. rith^ a rivulet, and weald^ a 
woody place. — 'Caledonia/ vol. iii. p. 191. 

' Scottish Land-Names, p. 59. 

' Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. ii. pp. 232-246. 

^ A cross, some twenty feet high, was erected on the Abbey Plain, 
Whitby, in honour of Caedmon, and was unveiled by Mr Alfred Austin on 
2 1 St Sept. 1898. '*The panels on the front of the cross show Christ in the 
act of blessings, David playin^^ the harp, the Abbess Hilda, and Caedmon 
himself in a stable singing*. On the obverse is a double vine, in the loops 
of which are the figures of four scholars trained at Whitby in Caedmon's 
time, while underneath are the first nine lines of the poet's hymn of the 
Creation."—' Literary World,' September jo, 1898. 


parish^ the Rev. Dr Duncan, to the garden of the old manse. 
Twenty-one years later Dr Duncan reconstructed the monu- 
ment, and supplied arms to the cross, the originals being 
wanting. Of the value of the Ruthwell Cross as an heir- 
loom from the distant past, Dr Anderson thus writes: 
*' No literary monument graven on stone, of such a char- 
acter or of greater importance in the history of literature, 
exists anywhere else. It is a monument unique of its kind, 
bearing witness to the existence of an artistic culture which, 
for its age, was high, and of a literary culture which but 
few of the succeeding ages have greatly surpassed." * 

Portincross, in West Kilbride parish, is the Port or 
Harbour of the Cross. Its ruined castle, anciently a posses- 
sion of the Boyds, is ''seated within the sea- wash, on a 
ledge of rock forming the most projecting point of the 
Kilbryde coast." ^ The writer of the parish article in the 
* O. S. A.' * mentions that Portincross is locally known as 
Pencross. He thinks that in pre -Reformation times the 
port was on the line of pilgrimages to lona, vtd the north 
of Arran and the isthmus of Kint}rre, and that '* from it the 
pious travellers took their departure to do penance, or 
make their offerings at the sacred place." In Appin is the 
village of Port-na-croish, which must at one time have been 
a place of some importance on account of its position with 
regard to St Moluac's island of Lismore, lying opposite. 
Crossaig, in Kintyre, means the Cross Bay, aig being the 
Norse vik in an altered form. Crossford is in Lesmahagow 
parish, Lanarkshire, at the influx of the Nethan into the 
Clyde. Mr J. B. Greenshields remarks: "That a cross 
was erected at this ford over the river Clyde is highly prob- 
able ; but whether on the Lesmahagow or Lanark side of it 
cannot now be determined." * There may have been a 
cross marking the ford, but the name does not necessarily 
imply this, for Crossford probably simply means the ford 
across (the river). Fife has Crossford, a village one mile 
and a half W.S.W. of Dunfermline; and Dumfriesshire 
has Crossford in Glencairn parish. In 1612 ''Corsfuirdis, 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. ii. p. 245. 

^ Timothy Font's Cunnyngham Topographised, p. 357, note. 

' Vol. xii. p. 416, note. * P. S. A. Scot., vol. vii. p. 260. 


and Eister and Wester Corsfuirdlie," are named in a charter 
as situated in the barony of Renfrew.^ Under the spiritu- 
ality of Dryburgh Abbey in 1630 there is a reference to 
*' one merkland of Corsfuird, worth nine bolls, three furlots, 
one peck.*'' This Corsfuird seems to have been in the 
neighbourhood of Lanark. 

Roodyard, at Dundee, derived its name from an ancient 
chapel dedicated to the Holy Rood which stood on a rock 
a little to the east of Carolina Point. Mr Alexander Max- 
well remarks : " This chapel stood by the river-side, nearly 
a mile east from the old burgh boundary, upon a headland 
which, in remote times, bore the name of Kilcraig, and also, 
as we find from Adair's map of 1703, Corseness, otherwise 
Crossness, or the Promontory of the Cross. The eminence 
on which the chapel stood was in great part formed of grey 
stone, which, when split into layers, was used as slates — a 
purpose for which it has indeed been long since all quarried 
away, excepting the lonely little burjdng-ground overlooking 
the river, still called the Rood Yard." • 

It seems to have been customary to erect a cross on spots 
associated with particular incidents in the lives of early 
saints. Adamnan records that when St Ernan was on his 
way from Hinba to visit Columba in lona, he expired just 
before meeting the latter, and that '* on that spot before 
the door of the kiln a cross was raised, and another cross 
was in like manner put up where the saint resided at the 
time of his death." ^ On the last day of Columba's life, 
when walking with feeble steps from the barn to the 
monastery, ''he rested half-way at a place where a cross, 
which was afterwards erected, and is standing to this day 
fixed into a millstone, may be observed on the roadside." ^ 

The number of crosses in lona has often been greatly 
exaggerated. Dr Reeves holds that " there probably never 
were more than two dozen real crosses standing at any one 

^ R. M. S. ^ Morton's Monastic Annals, p. 316. 

' Old Dundee, p* 54. * Adamnan, p. 33. 

* Ibid., p. 96. It was then that the incident mentioned by Adamnan 
occurred, of the white pack-horse, employed to carry the milk from the 
byre to the monastery, coming to where the saint was seated and laying* its 
head on his bosom with marked signs of grief. 


time." Of those still remaining he names the following: 
St Martin's, 14 feet high, opposite the west door of the 
cathedral ; Maclean's, with shaft 10 feet 4 in. high, between 
the nunnery and the cathedral; and St John's and St 
Matthews, two fragments, in the cathedral grounds. St 
Adamnan's Cross stood at the north end of the village, 
opposite Port-a-Chrossain, and St Brandon's near Tobar 
Grain ; but both have disappeared. So have the two large 
crosses which gave name to the spot still called Na Crossan 
Mor — i.e.f the Great Crosses, on the left of the walk running 
northwards from the cathedral.^ The map of the island 
has Uamh Chrossain (Uamh an Chrosain) — i.e.f the Cave of 
the Little Cross. A cross now in Tiree is believed to have 
been brought from lona. Carved on it is the figure of 
Death holding by the hand a female ecclesiastic, with the 
inscription, " Hec est Crox Michaelis Archangveli Dei Soror 
Anna Abbatissa De Y." Reeves thinks that it was prob- 
ably '* a memorial or votive cross " erected during the in- 
cumbency of Anna, who is believed to have died in lona 

in I543-* 

Jocelyn tells us that St Kentigern was in the habit of 

erecting crosses wherever he settled for any length of time. 

Two of these he particularises — viz., one at Glasgow and 

another at Lothwerverd (Borthwick). Both crosses, he 

says, worked miraculous cures; for if a sick person was 

tied to either of them overnight, he was often found well in 

the morning.* When travelling to Wales, Kentigern tarried 

a while in Cumberland to preach the Gospel to its heathen 

inhabitants, and set up his cross in a clearing of the wood 

at a place now known in consequence as Crosthwaite near 

Keswick. The erection of several crosses at Kilrimont, now 

St Andrews, is recorded in connection with the story of St 

Regulus.* Crosses were erected to mark the spots where 

^ Adamnan, Intro., p. cxxxviii ; and Drummond's Sculptured Monuments 
in lona, plates 1-45, and 99. 

^ Adamnan, p. 311. The oldest cross with a date known to exist in 
Scotland is part of a shaft of a decorated cross at St Oran's chapel, lona, 
bearing: the date 1489. — 'Scotland in Early Christian Times,' vol. ii. 
p. 131, note. 

' Metcalfe's Lives of Scottish Saints, p. 269. 

^ Stuart's Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. p. 45. 


the bodies of saints rested on their way to interment.^ 
Thus **a place where the bearers of St Devinic's body 
rested was called (no doubt from the cross raised to com- 
memorate that circumstance) * Crostan.' " * Mediaeval pil- 
grimages were made to crosses. The cross of Crail was 
much visited by pilgrims. There was a Rood Street in 
the burgh^^ Readers of English history are acquainted with 
the crosses — twelve in number — erected on the spots where 
Queen Eleanor's body rested on its way from Harby in 
Nottinghamshire, where she died, to Westminster, where 
her body was interred.* 

There are several instances of Cross as a place-name by 
itself.^ There is the island of Cross in Dunrossness parish, 
Shetland, formerly connected with one of the prebends in 
the cathedral of Orkney. The Orcadian island of Westray 
has the parish of Cross, and Sanday has that of Cross and 
Bumess. In Barvas pairish, Lewis, is the district of Cross, 
named after Holy Cross Church — TeampuU na Cr6 Naomh 
— at South Galson, in an open burying-ground beautifully 
situated on the shore. The building is a ruin, 18 feet by 
12 feet.® Cros (Croce) is in the district of Morar, Inver- 
ness-shire. We find Cors in the barony of Drummakeith, 
Banffshire ; and the lands of Corse in CouU parish, Aber- 
deenshire. Cros (Corse) occurs in East Kilbride parish, 
Lanarkshire; and Ayrshire has two examples — ^viz., Croce 
in Cunningham, and Corss in Ballantrae parish, in Carrick.^ 

^ Walcot, in his ' Sacred Archaeology ' (p. 192), remarks : " Crosses were 
set at the head of graves as early as the time of St Patrick, and before the 
middle of the eleventh century there was always a central cross -erected 
in churchyards to remind people of the reverence due to the sacred 
spot.'* Crosses erected for penitential purposes were known as weeping 

*' Stuart's Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. p. 46, note. 

' Register of Collegiate Church of Crail, p. 36. 

* The following is the complete list, as given by Rimmer in his ' Ancient 
Stone Crosses of England ' (p. 44) : Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Ged- 
dington, Northampton, Stony-Stratford, Wobum, Dunstable, St Albans, 
Waltham, West Cheap, and Charing. The crosses were erected between 
1 291 and 1294. Only three now remain — ^viz., those at Geddington, North- 
ampton, and Waltham. 

' In Iceland there are ten places called Kross — * P. S. A. Scot.,' vol. xi. 
p. 488. 

' Muir's Eccles. Notes, p. 42. ' R. M. S. 



In Colonsay is a place called Crossan, signifying Little 

We find cross associated with chapel and kirk. In the 
upper part of Cavers parish is a place called Chapel of 
Cross ; ^ and in the lordship of Dunblane are, or were, the 
lands of Crosschapel, written in 1572 Croschaple and Cors- 
caple. A church dedicated to the Cross or Rood in Reay 
parish, Caithness, gave name to Cross-Kirk, Crosskirk farm, 
and Cross-Kirk Bay. Its remains, with low doorway and 
thick walls, stand in an ancient burying-ground. Crosskirk, 
otherwise St Cruz, a ruin near Haroldswick in Unst parish, 
Shetland, was resorted to as a place of pilgrimage by 
some of the older inhabitants of the island even during 
the eighteenth century.* Near it is the hill of Crossfield, 
otherwise Crucifield, running east and west near the middle 
of the island. 

Crosskirk at Peebles was a conventual church belonging 
to the Trinity or Red Friars, who had an hospital in the 
town. The church was founded by Alexander III. in 1261 
in connection with the discovery of an ancient cross, 
described by Fordun as ^'quaedam magnifica crux et 
venerabilis." This cross, we are told, was discovered "in 
presence of divers honourable men, priests, clerks, and 
burghers," after having lain concealed for about a thousand 
years. Fordun* tells us that on the stone on which the 
cross was found were inscribed the words, "The place of 
Saint Nicholas the bishop"; and that a few paces away, 
what he calls a stone urn {urna lapidea — i.e., a sarcophagus) 
was brought to light, containing human bones thought to 
be those of the bishop. Cosmo Innes says : "In the fore- 
wall of the church, which had five windows, there was a 
small aperture and arch, between the third window and the 
door, so constructed as to make it probable to antiquaries 
of last century that the reliques of Saint Nicholas and the 
Holy Cross had been deposited there, so that they might 
be seen as well from without as from within the church."* 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 334. ' N. S. A., Shetland, p. 40. 

' Scotichronicon, Book X. chap. xiv. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 230. Vide also Ren wick's ' Aisle and Monastery/ 
and Grose's * Antiquities of ScoUand,' vol. ii. pp. 51-53. 


Who does not think of Holyrood Abbey* when tracing the 
influence of the Cross on mediaeval Scotland ? The Abbey 
was founded by David I. in 1128 for Canons Regular of St 
Augustine. The tradition regarding its foundation is thus 
told by Sir Daniel Wilson : " The well-known legend of the 
White Hart most probably had its origin in some real 
occurrence, magnified by the superstition of a rude and 
illiterate age. According to the relation of an ancient 
service-book of the monastery, in which it is preserved, 
King David, in the fourth year of his reign, was residing 
at the Castle of Edinburgh, then surrounded with ' ane gret 
forest,^ fiill of hartis, hyndis, toddis, and sic like manner 
of beistis ' ; and on the Rood Day, after the celebration of 
mass, he yielded to the solicitations of the young nobles 
in his train and set forth to hunt, notwithstanding the 
earnest dissuasions of a holy canon named Alkwine. ' At 
last, quhen he wes cumyn throw the vail that lyis to the 
eist fra the said Castell, quhare now lyis the Cannongait, 
the staill past throw the wod with sic noyis and dyn of 
bugillis that all the bestis wer raisit fra thair dennis.' The 
king, separated from his train, was thrown from his horse, 
and about to be gored by a hart 'with auful and braid 
tyndis,' when a cross slipt into his hands, at sight of which 
the hart fled away. And the king was thereafter admonished, 
in a vision, to build the abbey on the spot." ' 

Holyrood is believed to have derived its " name from the 
* Black Rood of Scotland,' a mysterious relic which, brought 
to Scotland by St Margaret, was kissed by her dying lips 
and grasped by her dying hands; was bequeathed to her 
children as a treasure above all price; stood before the 
death-bed of St David ; and was regarded by all the nation 

^ Holyrood Palace, as distinct from the Abbey, was founded by James IV. 
in 1501, and was enlarged by his successors. It was nearly destroyed by 
the Eng-lish under the Earl of Hertford, and was almost burned down when 
occupied by the soldiers of Cromwell ; but was rebuilt by Charles II. on a 
new plan. 

* In his ' Edinburgh and its Neighbourhood,' p. 164, Hugh Miller remarks : 
'* Undoubtedly from the character of the country around Edinburgh, and the 
remains found in its superficial deposits, it must have furnished a promising 
centre for the sportsman in the days of David, and long after." 

' Old Edinburgh, p. 4. 


of the Scots with deep feelings of love and awe." ^ There 
is a difference of opinion regarding the nature of the Black 
Rood. According to one view, it was a reliquary of gold 
supposed to contain a splinter of the true Cross, the epithet 
black being derived from a small ebony crucifix attached 
to it.* According to another view, it was a silver rood 
blackened with the smoke of tapers lighted by devotees.^ 
Edward I. carried it off to England in 1291, but it was 
restored to Scotland at the peace of Northampton in 1328. 
When David II. invaded England in 1346, the Black Rood 
accompanied his army in the hope of ensuring victory. But 
it was captured by the English at Neville's Cross,^ and was 
afterwards placed as a trophy in Durham Cathedral, close 
to St Cuthbert's shrine. There it remained for about a 
couple of centuries, but disappeared about the time of the 
Reformation, and so passed out of our history.^ 

' Robertson's Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 42. In Bonn Cathedral, 
St Margaret is represented holding* a black cross. — Husenbeth's * Emblems 
of Saints,' p. 139. 

' Wilson's Reminiscences of Old Edinburgh, vol. ii. p. 238. 

' Walcott's Scoti-Monasticon, p. 36. 

* Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. i. p. 241. 

' Scoti-Monasticon, p. 36. 


CROSSES — continued. 

King Cay*s Cross — DwelRngs — Boll — Bolstadr — By — Toun — House — 
Various examples — Market crosses — **The Cross f** Glasgoiu—^^The 
tHua Crocss*' — ToUcross — Commemoration crosses — Crossraguel Abbey — 
Crossbasket — Boundary crosses — St Catherine's Cross — St Mark's — St 
Niman's — Lady Corse — St Magdalene's — Corsemartin — Crosmungo — 
Macbricba's — Crossmyloof — Rume's Cross — Binram's Cross — Maid" 
graym — Halo-Crosse — Barochan Cross — Crossmichael — Corsnachten — 
Corsnavok — Macduff^ Mugdrum — Sanctuary crosses — Crossgates^ ^c. 
— Applecross. 

A TRADITION, resting indeed on no very sure basis, traces 
the origin of Linlithgow to King Achaius, who is said to 
have erected a cross there, called King Cay's Cross, as the 
nucleus of the future burgh.^ Though Linlithgow was not 
called after any such monument, supposing it to have 
existed, there is no doubt that various groups of houses 
in different parts of our land obtained their names from 
some adjacent cross. The Norse 60//, a building or home- 
stead, has furnished to the topography of our western dis- 
tricts* such varying forms as Corsapool in Islay, Crossapeill 
in Kintyre, CrassopoUie in Mull, CrossapoU in Tiree, and 
CrossapoU (otherwise CrosspoU) in Coll. Regarding the 
last, Muir remarks : " Overlooking a fine sandy bay, near 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 876. 

^ The Western Isles are known to have been under the influence of the 
Norsemen for some 400 years — ^at least from about 870, when colonists 
came from Norway to escape the tyranny of Harold Haarfag-er till 1266, 
three years after the battle of Largs, in which Haco, King of Norway, was 
defeated by Alexander I., Kingf of Scots. It is not unlikely that there were 
Norse settlers in the Hebrides even earlier than about 870. 


the south-east extremity of the island, is the old burial-place 
of Cross-poll, in which are two or three slabs, and the shaft 
of a cross, ornamented on both faces with foliage and scroll 
work, four feet nine inches in height." ^ Bolstadr^ another 
Norse term having the same meaning, gives us Crossbost in 
Lewis and Crossbuster in Unst. 

Yet another Norse term, fry, with a similar signification, 
accounts for several place-names, such as Corsby, Crocebie, 
or Crossby, as in Penninghame parish, Wigtownshire; in 
Legerwood parish, Berwickshire; in Aberdeenshire, where 
there is also a Corsbie-Hill ; and in Ayrshire, where there 
is a Crossby both in Cunningham and in Kyle. The last 
was a chapelry in Dundonald parish, though some time in 
Monkton and Prestwick parish. It has a picturesque grave- 
yard near the entrance to the Duke of Portland's demesne 
of Fullarton, with a ruined church, whose roof was blown 
off during the memorable storm of the 25th of January 1759, 
when Robert Burns was born. The Rev. J. K. Hewat says : 
"A village used to cluster round the church. Near the 
latter are still visible the remains of the pillared moat where 
the Barons of Crosbie or Fullarton were wont to dispense 
justice." ^ 

The Anglo-Saxon ton or taun is associated with Cross in 
Corston, otherwise Corstoun or Crosstoun. The monastery 
of Culross had a Corstoun among its lands. The Kirktown 
of Dunnichen, in Forfarshire, was also called Corstoun or 
Crostoun, its lands at one time belonging to the Abbey of 
Arbroath. Crosston, known likewise as Corstoun, in Aber- 
lemno parish, is a hamlet situated near a monumental stone 
bearing the figure of a cross.* Corstoun is a farm in Kettins 
parish, Forfarshire, and there are other examples in Moray, 
Fife, and Mid-Lothian. The Gaelic bal occurs in Balna- 
cross — i.e., the Town of the Cross. St Michael of Balna- 
cross was an ancient Kirkcudbrightshire parish, and formed 
the northern part of the present parish of Tongland. Its 
church, like that of Crossmichael, to be referred to later, 
was dedicated to Michael the Archangel. It stood on the 
west side of the Dee, at the village of Balnacross. " This 

» Eccles. Notes, p. 39. » A Little Scottish World, p. 79. 

* N. S. A., Forfar, p. 629. 


significant name," remarks Chalmers, ** has been corrupted 
to Bamcrosh which has imposed its unmeaning appellation 
on the estate, manour house, and hamlet of Barncross."^ 
A sculptured cross, with figures of men and animals, once 
stood at Bal~na-Croisk, near the entrance to the Sma' Glen 
in Perthshire, but was afterwards transferred to the village 
of Fowlis- Wester. 

The House of the Cross appears in such names as Cors- 
house, now Crosshouse, in Kilmaurs parish in Cunningham, 
and Corshous in Carrick. Near Dumfries was a building 
known as Corshous in 1580, and we find Corshouse on the 
lands of Craigbamet, and on those of Balcoroh, both in 
Lennox, referred to in 1613. Certain land at Hol)n:ood- 
house was known as Corshous in 1630.* In Kettle parish 
we meet with Crosshouses. . Crossmill is a village in Abbey 
parish, about two and a half miles from Paisley. In the 
same neighbourhood is the district of Arthurlee, with its 
village of Cross- Arthurlee, in the parish of Neilston. 

In former times the market-cross of a burgh occupied 
an important position in relation to civic life. It was the 
place where edicts were proclaimed, and where lawbreakers 
were punished. In the Kirk- Session Records of Elgin, under 
date 14th June 1664, we read : " Agnes Geddes for cursing 
compeired and is ordained to stand ane houre at the Meikle 
Crose and ane paper one her head upone Fryday " ; and on 
I2th June 1667, " Margeret Ogilvie is ordained to be put in 
the joges at the litle crose for hir misdemeners." When 
speaking of such crosses, Mr James Drummond remarks: 
" In Scotland they generally consisted of a pillar raised 
upon a flight of steps, or a solid basement without steps. 
On most crosses of this sort there still remains the iron 
staple to which the jougs were attached. ... In some 
cases, probably, the branks may have been fixed at the 
opposite side of the Cross. . . . The Market Cross some- 
times consisted of a larger building, having a stair inside 
leading to the roof, which was surrounded by a parapet, 
and from the centre of the roof the pillar sprang. . . . 
Crosses were no doubt originally ecclesiastical, and their 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 324. ' R. M. S. 

1 84 CROSSES. 

transition from this character to their ordinary use is simple. 
In rude and lawless times we can suppose a paction of any 
sort being considered binding, if contracted at a cross, with 
its sacred significance. This would, perhaps, be rendered 
doubly sure if, while hand-fasting, they touched with the 
other hand the cross. The place where it was situated 
thus becoming a place of bargain-making, and the cross 
gradually losing its religious significance, its very cruciform 
shape disappearing, until at last it was transformed into the 
ordinary Market Cross." ^ 

The market-cross had also to do with the amusements 
of the people. At Scone, in Perthshire, for instance, where 
the game of hand-ball was played with enthusiasm every 
Shrove Tuesday, the cross was the appointed place for 
throwing up the ball.* The town of Fochabers, in Banff- 
shire, at one time stood within the grounds of Gordon 
Castle, but was rebuilt on its present site beyond the ducal 
policies. The market-cross, however, still remains to indi- 
cate the spot where the houses of the vanished burgh once 

The Cross is a well-known point in the topography of 
Glasgow. Contrary to the view taken by local historians 
that the first market-cross of the city was erected at the 
intersection of High Street with Rottenrow and Drygate, 
Sir J. D. Marwick holds that it stood " at the foot of the 
High Street, the site which it has occupied as far back as 
its history can be traced in authentic documents."' The 
Cathedral clergy, indeed, had their manses in the neighbour- 
hood of the former locality, but there is no evidence that 
" markets were held or trade and merchandise were carried 
on there till after the Reformation." And Sir James thinks 
that " the lower ground near the river being more suitable 
for these purf)oses, was chosen by the trading portion of 
the community — t,e., those who obtained burghal privileges 
in the twelfth century" for the erection of their crux /oralis. 

In an instrument of sasine, of date 1539, we find " the 

^ p. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. pp. 89-91. Vide also * Scottish Market Crosses,' 
by J. W. Small, F.S.A. Scot. 
' O. S. A., vol. xviii. p. 88. 
' Glasg'ow Charters and Documents, 1 175-1649, Part I., Pref., p. 524. 


twa Crocis near Stabyll Greyne," at Glasgow, mentioned 
as a landmark.^ ToUcross, in the east of the city, recalls 
the time when tolls were paid by Glasgow to the neighbour- 
ing royal burgh of Rutberglen. In 1226 a charter was 
granted to the Bishop of Glasgow, "prohibiting the officers 
of Rutberglen from taking toll or custom in the town of 
Glasgow, or elsewhere than at the cross of Schedenestoun 
[Shettleston], according to use and wont." The portion of 
the lands of Shettleston where the cross stood was known 
in the sixteenth century as " the two merkland of Tow- 
corse." ^ Rutherglen's own market-cross, some thirteen or 
fourteen feet in height, stood on a pedestal six feet high 
with twelve steps ; but was removed, along with the Tron, 
in 1777.^ Dr John Stuart thus refers to an example in 
Aberdeenshire corresponding to the Shettleston one: "On 
the boundary of the parishes of Fyvie and Rayne is a pillar 
called the 'Towstane,' at which, it is believed, a tax or 
impost was levied in early times." Dr Stuart adds : " The 
monument described as * Towcross ultra arcum occidentalem 
de Edinburgh ' marked the site of a similar exaction."^ 

Crosses were sometimes commemorative of. notable 
persons. King's Cross in Arran* is believed to mark the 
spot whence Robert the Bruce sailed when on his expedi- 
tion into Carrick. King's Crossbill is in Rutberglen parish ; 
but who the king was in this instance is uncertain. At 
Kinghorn, in Fife, a cross stood for centuries, to show 
where King Alexander III. met his death by falling from 
his horse on March ig, 1286. It gradually went to decay, 
but was replaced on the sixth centenary of the event by 
another cross bearing a suitable inscription. A mile north 
of Eccles, in Berwickshire, is a white sandstone pillar 
locally known as Crosshall. The shaft, ten feet in height, 
has a cross carved on it, along with other sculpturings. 

^ Glasg'ow Charters and Documents, 1175-1649, p. 15. 

* Ibid., Pref., p. xi and p. 525. 

' Ure's Rutherglen and East Kilbride, p. 80. 
^ Sculptured Stones, vol. ii. p. 44. 

* '* The King's Cove on the west coast ; Dairy, or the King's Plain ; 
Toranrigh, or the King's Mount, — are said to have received their names 
from their connection with the Bruce." — *N. S. A.,' Bute, p. 20. 


The monument is said to date from Crusading times, in 
the twelfth century, and to have been erected to the 
memory of the father of Sir John de Soules.* Crosshall 
is a village in Polmont parish, Stirlingshire; and Linlith- 
gowshire has, or had, a Corshall. Crossraguel Abbey, two 
miles south of Maybole, has been connected etymologically 
with Crux regalis, or Cross of King Oswald, whose name 
is kept alive in the neighbouring parish of Kirkoswald. 
But a difficulty in the way of this derivation lies in the fact 
that the form crux regalis does not appear in any of the 
Abbey charters till 1547-48, when we find it in a discharge 
by Abbot Quintin to the Earl of Cassillis. In charters, 
Crossraguel is spelt in no fewer than forty-one ways, the 
very earliest form of the name being ** Crosragmol." * 

Crossbasket, in East Kilbride parish, got its name, ac- 
cording to Ure, from *' a cross that stood at a small distance 
from the tower, and in the lands of Basket." Ure adds : 
''Near the foot of this religious monument was a sacred 
font. Both were of stone. On the font was a long inscrip- 
tion, but so much obliterated that the characters have not 
been legible for more than a century past. These hallowed 
remains of superstition, like many of the greatest monu- 
ments of antiquity, fell, about fifty years ago, a sacrifice 
to avarice and ignorance ; and report says that the person 
who destroyed them never after did well."* Cosmo Innes 
tells us that " the lands of Corsbaskat, along with certain 
others, were erected into the lordship of Hamilton by James 
II. in 1445."* The name, therefore, is by no means 

Crosses were used to indicate the boundaries of lands, 
particularly of church-lands. To this class probably belongs 
the greywacke pillar, fully three feet high, with an encircled 
cross and mutilated inscription, containing the words " petri 
APVSTOLi," which, till lately, stood by the roadside near 
Whithorn, but is now under cover at the cathedral in the 
burgh. The names of particular saints were often given to 

^ Lewis's Topog. Diet., s,v. ** Eccles." 

^ Charters of Abbey of Crossraguel, vol. i., Intro., p. bcvi. 

^ History of Ruthergflen and East Kilbride, p. 154. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 107. 


such crosses. The Cross of St Catherine, for instance, in 
the barony of Forbes, Aberdeenshire, is specified as a 
boundary mark in a charter to James Forbes of Auchintowil 
in 1523 ; * and St Mark's Cross " on the lands of Brackin- 
hirst, between the baronies of Dalrymple and AUoway" in 
Ayrshire, occurs in a similar connection in a charter of 
date 1475.* 

Whether marking boundaries or not, crosses were often 
named after saints. In 1490, St Ninian's Cross at Paisley 
is mentioned in connection with a grant made to the burgh 
by the abbot of the monastery there.' A cross dedicated to 
the Virgin, known as Lady Corse, stood at one time near 
Maybole ; and St Magdalene*s Cross at Linlithgow indicated 
the spot where St Magdalene's Fair used to be held. When 
referring to the Canongate at Edinburgh, Stotherd remarks : 
" A circle of stones, intersected by a cross, may be seen in 
the pavement opposite to the entrance of S. John's close, 
where S. John's Cross used to stand. And a similar 
memorial of the Girth Cross, at the western limit of the 
Sanctuary, remains near the Watergate. "* Corsemartin in 
Balmaghie parish, and Crosmungo in Wauchopdale, point 
to crosses dedicated respectively to St Martin and St 
Mungo.* To the north-west of the Moor of Dinnet, in 
Aberdeenshire, is Loch Kinnord; and on its shore once 
stood a stone styled Macbricha's Cross, having on one side 
a decorative cross elaborately wrought. It is now to be 
seen in a plantation within the grounds of Aboyne Castle, 
whither it was removed about eighty years ago.* 

Crossmyloof, near Glasgow, is said to have derived its 
name from some words used by Queen Mary in connection 
with the battle of Langside. The late Mr A. M. Scott thus 
records the tradition, which, however, he wisely thinks is 
without foundation : " Queen Mary, on being assured by the 
gentlemen about her that, in consequence of the position 

^ Antiquities of Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, vol. iv. p. 143. 

* Charters of Burgh of Ayr, p. 91. 
' Paisley Burgh Charters, p. 34. 

* Parochial and Collegiate Antiquities of Edinburgh, Last Series, p. 119. 

* Mentioned in Charter of 161 2. — * R. M, S.* 

* Michie's History of Loch Kinnord, p. 43. 

1 88 


occupied by the rebel force, it would be impossible for her 
to get to Dumbarton, placed her crucifix in the palm of her 
hand and passionately exclaimed : ' By the cross in my loof, 
I will be there to-night in spite of yon traitors.* " ^ To find 
the true derivation is not easy ; but we are on safer ground 
if we regard the second syllable as the honorific -ma or -mo, 
and the third as the name of some saint, possibly that of 
Luag in an altered form. 

Rume's Cross is a knoll about a mile north of the church 
of Farnell in Forfarshire. It bears the name of St Rumwold 
or Rumoldus, who was by birth a Saxon, but was probably 
trained in Ireland during the first half of the eighth century. 
He went to Rome, and afterwards to Brabant, where he 
preached the Gospel. In 775 he suffered martyrdom at 
Machlenia (now Malines), where a church was built in his 
honour. His day in the calendar is ist July.^ South of 
the Tweed he is remembered in Romald-Kirk, Yorkshire, 
and Rumbold's Wyke, Sussex. About 400 yards from the 
site of St Mary's Chapel, in Yarrow parish, Selkirkshire, 
is a small mound called Binram's Cross, which, according 
to the * N. S. A.,' is probably, as tradition represents, the 
burial-place of some necromantic priest. In mediaeval times 
a cross called Maldgraym stood at Arbroath, and gave its 
name to a piece of grass-land styled in the Burgh Court 
Book " Madie Gramis-Croce." ^ A cross at Carnwath, in 
Lanarkshire, dedicated to All-Saints, and known as Halo- 
Crosse, was connected with a singular custom thus described 
by Cosmo Innes : " This barony of Carnwath affords one of 
the few instances of jocular tenures that occur in Scottish 
charters. Part of the reddendo was * the price of two pair of 
stockings, made of two halfs of an ell of English stuff, to be 
given on the feast of Saint John at Midsummer to the 
quickest runner of a race from the east end of the town of 
Carnwath to the cross called Halo-crosse.* " * 

Barochan Cross, an elaborately sculptured monument in 
Houston and Killallan parish, is connected by Bishop Forbes 
with the name of St Berchan,* who is still remembered in 

^ The Battle of Lang-side, p. 80. 
* Biack*s I;^istoiy of Arbroath. 
B Kal., s.v, ** Berchan.' 

^ Butler's Lives of the Saints. 
* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 127. 



the adjoining parish of Kilbarchan ; but there is some doubt 
as to the identification of Barochan and Berchan. The 
cross, which is eleven or twelve feet high, was formerly 
situated close to the Mill of Barochan, but was removed 
about the end of last century to an adjoining rising ground, 
where the old mansion-house of Barochan once stood. The 
writer of the parish article in the *0. S. A.'* remarks: "Some 
call it a Danish cross; f>erhaps it might be intended as a 
devotional cross for travellers." There is a good deal of un- 
certainty as to its purpose. Dr John Stuart says: "Modem 
theory has sought in it a monument of the defeat of Somer- 
led, Lord of the Isles, in 1164."* The parish of Cross- 
michael, on the Dee in Kirkcudbrightshire, commemorates 
the Archangel Michael in its name. " Here," remarks 
Heron, "stood anciently a cross sacred to St Michael, 
around which the peasantry of the neighbouring country 
were wont to assemble, at Michaelmas, to a fair. The fair 
is still held. The cross has been removed." * 

In a charter of 1558 we find mention of Corsnavok, in the 
barony of Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, probably so called from 
St Neamhag or Neamhog* (pronounced Nevag and Nevog, 
a diminutive of Neamha), an abbot who succeeded Luag at 
Lismore, and died circa 610. In a charter of 1554 occurs 
Corsnachten, in the barony of Tillicoultry, Clackmannan- 
shire ; and in 1581 we find the form Corsnathan, both recall- 
ing in all probability St Nathalan of Aberdeenshire, who 
appears in the Felire ofjEngus as " Neachtan nair de albae," 
which the gloss throws into a more modern form, " anair de 
Albain " — t.^., Nechtan from the east, from Alba.^ 

In the Middle Ages every church and churchyard formed 
a sanctuary, but certain churches had a special sanctity 
attaching to them which made their sanctuary ground 
all the more sacred. The crosses of Macduif and Mug- 
drum, near Abemethy in Perthshire, are believed to have 
been girth -crosses. They are distant about a mile from 
each other, and are both associated with the name of St 

* Vol. i. p. 326. ^ Sculptured Stones, vol. i. p. j6. 
' Journey, vol. ii. p. ij6. 

* Og is the honorific diminutive so often found in the names of saints. 
» Kal., s.v. " Nathalan.'* 


MacGidrin, otherwise St Adrian. The Rev. D. Butler says : 
*' The crosses of Mugdrum and Macdufif are now within the 
bounds of the neighbouring parish of Newburgh. . . . The 
church-lands were very extensive, extending many miles on 
the east side of the Abernethy monastery, and probably as 
many on the other sides ; there were most likely crosses on 
the other sides for a similar purpose, but the Mugdrum 
Cross and the Macduff Cross originally served the purpose 
on the eastern side, indicating the church-girth or right of 
sanctuary."^ The monastery of Dull, in Strath-Tay, had 
girth-crosses. Remains of these are still to be seen. The 
same may be said of the stones that were set to indicate 
the limits of the sanctuary at Torphichen, connected with 
the Preceptory of the Knights of St John. There were 
four of these, each about a mile distant from a central stone 
in the churchyard, and all of them were marked with a 
cross.* When speaking of St Machar's Cathedral at Old 
Aberdeen, the writer of the "View of the Diocese of 
Aberdeen *' remarks : " This Cathedral had the privilege 
of a sanctuary or girth, and had a Girth-Cross on the 
Bishop's dovecote-green, which was a sure refuge for 
manslayers." ' 

Tain, in Ross- shire, had an tmmunitas or privilege of 
girth granted by Malcolm Canmore, the space protected 
by the immunitas being marked off by four crosses.* A 
secular sanction was sometimes added to the ecclesiastical 
right of sanctuary possessed by a church. David I., in 1144, 
made the church of Lesmahagow a cell of the monastery 
of Kelso, and granted his " firm peace *' to all who should 
flee for safety to the said cell or succeed in getting 
within the four crosses that stood around it, placed there in 
honour of God and St Machutus, the patron saint of the 

We find Crossgates, i.e., Crossways, occurring as a place- 
name — e.g,f Crossgates near the march between Carluke 

^ The Ancient Church and Parish of Abernethy, p. 2j6. 

^ N. S. A., Linlithg^ow, p. 49. 

' Collections for a History of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, p. 151. 

* Stuart's Sculptured Stones, vol. ti. p. 67. 

^ Lib. de Calchou, vol. i. p. 10. 


and Lanark parishes ; Crossgates in Cults parish, Fife ; 
and Crossgates, three miles east by south of Dunfermline. 
Mr Alfred Rimmer remarks: ** Cross -roads were held 
peculiarly sacred in the early times ; and even as far back 
as the period of the Druids they were marked by upright 
stones, and these stones were chiselled on the upper part 
with a cross in relief."^ In the instances of Crossgates 
just given, there was no necessary reference to any cross 
erected to mark the spot, though of course in mediaeval 
times a wayside cross may have stood at the parting of 
the roads. There was a Corsgait at Coldingham, and in 
the same neighbourhood was ''the commoun gait in the 
mure callit the Croslawgait." Crossgatehall is a hamlet 
in Inveresk parish. We find Crossroads in the parishes 
of Dreghorn and Grange, and, in 1647, Corsway in the 
barony of Johnstoun in Annandale. Corsbauld, in For- 
doun parish, locally pronounced Cosbet, is a corruption of 
Crosspath — i,e., the path across the hills to Banchory- 
Teman, and was so written in a thirteenth-century charter.* 
Two miles from Mauchline is a place bearing the curious 
name of Crosshands. 

Applecross, in Ross-shire, calls for mention in conclusion. 
The word is derived from aber, a confluence, and Crossan, 
the name of the stream flowing into the sea close to the 
spot where, in 673, St Maelrubha founded his monastery. 
Bishop Reeves remarks : ** We have no means of ascer- 
taining at what period the apur passed into aptly and crossan 
into cross ; but the change probably arose from a tendency 
to facilitate the utterance of the compound."* Two absurd 
etymologies are given in the * O. S. A.' * and the ' N. S. A.' ^ 
respectively, and are as follow: (i) ** Applecross is a fanci- 
ful designation assumed by one of the proprietors of that 
part of the parish from which it derives its name. In com- 
memoration of this, five apple-trees were planted cross-ways, 
and have since in form been perpetuated by his successors.*' 
(2). " The modern name Applecross was given to the parish 

^ Ancient Stone Crosses of Eng^land, p. 11. 

* Annals of Fordoun, p. 10. * P. S. A. Scot., vol. iii. p. 273. 

* Vol. iii. p. 369. * Ross, p. 100. 


by the gentleman who was proprietor of the Comaraich^ 
estate at the time of the erection ; in commemoration of 
which event five apple-trees had been planted cross-ways in 
the proprietor's garden. In his article in the * P. S. A. 
Scot.,'* on the churches of St Maelrubha, Bishop Reeves, 
when criticising the apple-tree etymology, remarks : " When 
the writer visited Applecross in 1854, ^^ was informed by 
the then minister that the cross trees which yielded the 
name were chestnut instead of apple / A communication lately 
received from the spot suggests a solution by supposing * a 
cross of trees with a crab apple in the centre.' Another 
and more ecclesiastical version of the etymology is, that 
every apple which grew in the monk's garden was marked 
with the sign of the cross." 

^ " Comaraigh signifies Girth or Sanctuary, and M^as applied to the privi- 
leged ground round the church. According to the ' Breviary of Aberdeen ' 
this ground extended six miles from it in all directions " — * P. S. A. Scot.,' 
vol. ii. p. 274. 

*-* Vol. iii. p. 273. 



The Virgin^ s Dower — Her Dedications in Scotland — Their late date 
— Absence of Mariolairy in Celtic Church — Gro^wth of cultus — Influence 
of Roman Church — Wales and Ireland — Springs defeated to J^irgin 
— Tohermoryj isfc* — Kilmorie — Kiimore — Kirriemuir — Kilmuir — IGl- 
murry — Lady — Lady Ktrky isfc, — Lady Acre — Ladylandy isfc, 
— Mary — St Mary's Holm^ l^c. — St Mary's Isle — St Mary's Loch 
— Convent at Montrose — Old Montrose — Mary ton — Maty kirk — Mary^ 
culter — Loretto — Snowkirk at Old Aberdeen — Church of Santa Maria 

Medieval England was known as the Virgin's Dower. 
The same might have been said of mediaeval Scotland, for 
there are many places north of the Tweed which suggest, 
under one form or another, the name of the Virgin. This is 
not to be wondered at when we bear in mind the great 
number of abbeys,^ parish churches, chapels, and altars 
placed under her invocation. To these should be added 
St Mary's College in Old Aberdeen, founded by Bishop 
Elphinstone in 1500, the name being afterwards changed to 
King's in compliment to James IV. ; and St Mary's College 
at St Andrews, founded by Archbishop James Beaton in 
1537, and still known by the same name. 

There is no doubt that most, if not all, of her dedications 
date from a comparatively late period. Principal Story 
says: "As regarded dogma and usage, perhaps the most 
obvious difference between the Columban and the Roman 
Church was the absence of any trace of Mariolatry."* 

^ All the Cistercian abbeys — e,g.^ Melrose and Dundrennan — were dedi- 
cated to the Virgin. 
* Apostolic Ministry in the Scottish Church, p. 86. 



Colonel Robertson bears witness to the slightness of Rome's 
hold on the primitive Church of Scotland when he observes, 
"It is very remarkable how very few of the ancient Gaelic 
churches were dedicated to St Peter or to the Virgin Mary/* ^ 
In both the East and the West the cultus of the Virgin was of 
gradual growth during the first four centuries. It received 
an impulse in the fifth century when, at the Council of 
Ephesus in 431, Nestorius was condemned as a heretic, and 
Mary was proclaimed theotokos — ue,, the Mother of God. 
When the influence of the Roman Church supplanted that 
of the Celtic in Scotland, the veneration of the Virgin grew 
in strength until the Reformation, when it received a blow 
from which it has not since recovered. In Wales, too, her 
cultus was scarcely recognised in early times ; while in 
Ireland, as Petrie reminds us,^ none of the ancient churches 
were dedicated to the Virgin or to any foreign saint before 
the twelfth century. 

Fountains were frequently placed under the protection 
of the Virgin. It was natural, therefore, that such springs 
should have an influence on our topography. Tobermory, 
in the north of Mull, means Mary's Well, fi-om Gaelic tobar, 
a well, and Motr^ Mary. In 1540 it was written Tibbirmore.* 
At Tobermory are the ruins of an ancient chapel and a well 
dedicated to the Virgin, showing the appropriateness of the 
name ; but the place itself is modern, having been built in 
1788 by the British Fisheries* Company, to serve as a 
rendezvous for herring - vessels. Tibbermuir, otherwise 
Tibbermore, a parish in Perthshire, has the same meaning 
as Tobermory. The writer of the article on Tibbermuir 
in the * N. S. A.' * says : " This word signifies * a great well,* 
referring in all probability to a perennial spring that once 
issued from behind the church, and was long known by the 
name of the Lady Well, but which has lately been carried 
away by the draining of the adjacent field.'* More certainly 
means "great" in Gaelic,* and Tibbermore might signify 
*' great well ** ; but the fact that the spring in this case was 

1 Gaelic Topography, p. 399. * Eccies. Archaeology, p. 173. 

• O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 324, * Perth, p. 1028. 

' lona Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin, is known in Gaelic aa Eglais 
Mor, but this signifies, not Mary's Church, but the Great Church. 


called ** the Lady well " points to a connection between the 
Virgin and the name of the parish. 

There is Ladywell estate in Duns parish, Berwickshire ; 
and in Craig parish, Forfarshire, near the village of Usan, is 
Marywelly close to the site of a vanished chapel which gives 
name to Chapel Mill in the immediate neighbourhood.^ 
There is Ladywell hamlet in Kirkbean parish, Kirkcudbright- 
shire; and near Dunkeld in Perthshire are the lands of 
Ladywell, referred to in a charter of 1598. On the east 
bank of the Molendinar Burn at Glasgow was a spring 
known as the Lady Well, the resort of many a pilgrim in 
the Middle Ages. It has given name to the quoad sacra 
parish of Ladywell, and to a street running north and south 
past the Drygate. Near the shore, not far from Saddell 
Abbey in Kintyre, is Lady Mary's Well, called, not after 
the Virgin, but, as we learn from Colonel T. P. White, "in 
honour of a noble lady of the house of Saddell, who, ac- 
cording to the tradition, 'would drink no other water.'"* 
Mother Water, a well on Prestrie {i.c, Priestery) farm 
in Whithorn parish, is probably named, as Sir Herbert 
Maxwell suggests, from its dedication to the Virgin.* There 
is no doubt that the town of Motherwell in Lanarkshire, 
partly in Hamilton parish and partly in Dalziel parish, 
owes its name to the Virgin. There is a spring called 
Our Lady's Well close to the manor of Motherwell. 
The name is written "Modyrwaile" in a charter of 1352, 
granted by David II. to Robert Stewart of Scandbothy 
(afterwards Robert II.)* 

Churches dedicated to the Virgin have originated a variety 
of place-names. We have, for instance, Kilmory, Kilmorie, 
Kilmore, and Kilmuir, all signifying Mary's Cell or Church. 
In Ireland, Kilmurry is a common form of the name. Dr 
Joyce tells us that it '* is the name of nearly fifty townlands 
in which there must have been churches dedicated to the 
Blessed Virgin, for the Irish name is Cill-Mhuire, Mary's 
Church." '^ In Scotland we have the parish of Kilmory in 

^ Jervise's Memorialsi vol. ii. p. 42. 

* Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Kintyre, p. 177. 

» Gall. Top. * O. P. S., vol. i. p. 58. 

" Place-Names of Ireland, p. 304. 


Arran, comprising the south-west portion of the island. 
The present parish church is at Kilmory, on the site of 
an older building. In a.d. 1357 Kilmory was known as 
" Ecclesia Sanctae Marie de Arane," in 1549 as Kylmure, 
in 1571 as Kilmorie, and circa 1700 as Kilmore.^ In Mull 
there are two localities named Kilmorie, one in the district 
forming the ancient parish of Kilninian, and now included 
in the united parish of Kilninian and Kilmore, and the other 
in the parish of Kilfinichen and Kilvickeon. 

There is a Kilmory estate in Kilmichael-Glassary parish, 
Argyll, on the east side of Loch Gilp. The foundations 
of the Virgin's church there were visible till the beginning 
of last century. Its graveyard continued to be the favourite 
place of interment even after a new cemetery was formed 
at Lochgilphead. At Kilmory in the island of Bute, on 
the west coast, opposite Inchmarnock, are the ruins of an 
ancient castle once the property of the Jamiesons, crowners 
or coroners of Bute.* Regarding the chapel that gave name 
to the place, the Rev. Dr J. K. Hewison remarks : " Kil- 
morie (Church of Mary) is built upon the rocky face of the 
hill, 220 yards south of Little Kilmory farm, a short dis- 
tance above the highway, and is a ruin still well defined 
since the Marquess of Bute had the hidden site excavated." * 

There is an ancient chapel at Kilmorie Knap, in South 
Knapdale parish, Argyll, close to the shore, half-way be- 
tween Lochs Swin and Killisport. As we learn from the 
*N. S. A.,'* "the chapel of Kilmorie Knap seems to have 
been the most considerable in South Knapdale. Its walls 
are almost entire; a beautiful obelisk or cross stands on 
the west side of the burying-ground." This cross is about 
twelve feet high, including the p>edestal, and has a repre- 
sentation of the Crucifixion on its western face with two 
figures, probably the Virgin and St John, one on either side 
of our Lord.* Kilmory Knap is so called to distinguish it 
from Kilmory of Oib,* another ecclesiastical site in the 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 253. " N. S. A., Bute, p. 104. 

* Island of Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 233. ^ Argyll, p. 263. 
' Muir's Eccles. Notes, p. 195. 

* White's Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Knapdale, p. 59. 



When speaking of Ardnamurchan parish, Cosmo Innes 
says : " At Kilmory, on the north coast, there was another 
church apparently dedicated to the Virgin and still partly 
in existence, which in the seventeenth century appears to 
have been the parish church."* On Scarba island, near 
Jura, is another Kilmorie, where, close to the shore, stand 
the ruins of a chapel to the Virgin, in which certain miracles 
were believed to have been wrought in mediaeval times.* In 
1773 the remains of a chapel to the Virgin were to be seen 
at Kilmory, on the north-west coast of the island of Rum. 
Some obscure traces of the building were still to be seen 
when Muir visited the spot in 1856. " Near its site," he 
tells us, "is a slender pillar incised with a plain cross."' 
In Kirkcolm parish, Wigtownshire, were visible, in 1837, 
some traces of Kilmory chapel on the coast of Loch Ryan, 
about a mile and a half from the parish church. The 
Virgin's Well near it had the "discriminating power of 
becoming dry if the patient, for whom its water was sought, 
had a mortal malady, but of appearing in abundance if the 
disease was curable."* 

Another Kilmorie calls for mention, inasmuch as its 
dedication has been ascribed to the Virgin erroneously, 
though not unnaturally. This is Kilmorie, the ancient 
name of the Argyll parish of Craignish. According to 
Bishop Reeves, it was dedicated to Maelrubha, and not 
to Mary as stated in the *N. S. A.'* Reeves remarks: 
"Craignish is a parish about the middle of the west coast 
of Argyllshire, marked by Blaeu, Kilmolrow, and called in 
the Retours Kilmalrew and Kilmolrew, sometimes Kilmorie. 
The true explanation is Cill-Maelrubha, Maelrubha's Church. 
It stood between the castle of Craignish and the extremity 
of the peninsula, Ardcraignish." ® The confusion arose, as 
Dr Reeves indicates, through " Maelrubha becoming Maree, 
Marie, Mary, Mury, which is the equivalent pronunciation 
of the name in Ross-shire and Argyll, and in speaking is 
sufficiently distinct from Mary, the female name, though 
on paper it is apt to be confounded with it, and has, in 

* O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 194. 
' Eccles. Notes, p. 33. 
« Argyll, p. 45. 

2 Ibid., p. 276. 

* N. S. A., Wigtown, p. iii. 

' P. S. A. Scot., vol. iii. p. 293. 


many instances, caused the patronage of ancient churches 
under Celtic foundation to be transferred to the Virgin 
Mary instead of Maelrubha." ^ Yet another Kilmorie may 
be mentioned — the ancient name of the parish of Stralach- 
lane, united to Strachur in 1650. The * N. S. A.'* derives 
it from Kill and Muire, the Virgin Mary. In 1543, " Sanct 
our Lady Alter situat within the Kirk of Stralachlane " * is 
mentioned ; but there is reason to believe that the church 
itself, like the one at Craignish, was called after Maelrubha, 
and not after Mary. This, at least, is the conclusion reached 
by Bishop Reeves.* 

In Lorn district, Argyll, is the united parish of Kilmore 
and Kilbride. Kilmore church, said to have been built about 
the time of the Reformation, stands four and a half miles 
south-east of Oban, near the head of Loch Feachan. We 
read regarding it: "The church, dedicated to the Virgin 
Mary, has outside nothing architectural to mark its antiq- 
uity. Inside, at the east end, is a low circular arch (prob- 
ably once over an altar tomb)."* The island of Mull has 
a Kilmore in the united parish of Kilninian and Kilmore ; 
but one cannot be certain whether the name in this case 
means Great Church or Mary's Church.* In Sleat parish, 
Skye, Kilmore, called in 1546 " Kilmoir in Slait," is situ- 
ated near the middle of the parish. Its church was dedi- 
cated probably to the Virgin.^ 

In a charter of 1469, quoted in * Registrum Monasterii de 
Passelet,' * reference is made to ** Capellam de Kylmor 
apud Kenlochgilpe cum pertinentiis suis"; but this is evi- 
dently the Kilmory in Kilmichael-GIassary parish alluded 
to above. The kirk of Kilmoir, Kilmarie, or St Mary once 
stood on the north side of the South Esk, close to Brechin 
Cathedral and within the grounds of Brechin Castle.® As 
we learn from the 'Registrum Monasterii Brechinensis,'^® 

^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. iii. p. 277. ' Argyll, p. 103. 

■ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 74. * P. S. A. Scot., ut supra, 

• O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 8a6. 

* In Ireland, Kilmore is sometimes equivalent to Coill-mhor — fl#., Great 
Wood, but commonly to CiU-mdr — i.^.. Great Church. — ^Joyce's 'Irish 
Place-Names,* p. 475. 

' O. P. S., vol. ii. p 340, ■ P. 309. 

' Jervise*s Memorials, vol. ii. p. 308. ^ Vol. ii. p. 366. 


" a gift for life of the prebend of Kilmoir, founded within 
the Cathedral of Brechin, was granted in the year 1576 to 
James Cokbume, brother - german to John Cokburne of 
Clerkingtoun, in order that he might the better give attend- 
ance to study virtue and good letters." A house at the foot 
of Chanonry Wynd, with an excellent garden attached, 
served in former times as the manse of the rector of Kil- 
moir.^ Kirkhill parish, Inverness-shire, is known in Gaelic 
as Cnoc-mhoir, signifying Mary's Hill. Kirkhill, as Shaw 
tells us, was anciently a parsonage dedicated to the 

Elian More, off Coll, Elian More, near the mouth of Loch 
Swin, and Island More, one of the Flannan group, all signify 
Great Island ; but Island More, the form given by Martin,^ 
usually written Elian Mhuire, one of the Shiant Isles off 
Lewis, means Mary's Isle. In Martin's time it contained 
a chapel to the Virgin. Loch Muire, whence flows Alness 
river, is situated in the north-east part of Alness parish, 
Ross-shire, and means Mary's Loch. It derived its name 
from a now ruined chapel to the Virgin, built in a romantic 
glen at one end of the loch. The loch itself is three miles 
in length. It is very deep, and is surrounded by steep 
rocks. Near the chapel is Tobair-na-Muire — i,e,, Mary's 
Well — formerly credited with healing virtues. Regarding 
this well the writer of the parish article in the * N. S. A.'* 
remarks : " Pieces of coloured cloth were left as offerings 
to the numen of the place. The offerings made to the 
officiating priest were probably more substantial and 
valuable donations." 

Kirriemuir, in Forfarshire, is locally known as Kellamuir. 
In 1632, and at other dates, we find the name written Killie- 
muire or Killimuir. Its church was dedicated to the Virgin, 
and we may safely equate Killiemuir with Marykirk. Early 
in the thirteenth century its church was given by Gil- 
christ, Earl of Angus, to the recently founded monastery 
of Arbroath. Jervise says : " All record goes to show that 
Kirriemuir, which received its name from the patroness of 
the church (Kil-Mary), was a place of importance in early 

^ Black's History of Brechin, p. 257. ' Prov. of Moray, p. 361. 

* Western Isles, p. 27. ^ Ross, p. 344. 


times. When the old church was demolished in 1787, five 
fragments of very interesting sculptured stones were dis- 
covered in its foundations."^ While recognising Kilmarie 
— i.e., Mary's Church — as an alternative name for Kirrie- 
muir, Mr Johnston interprets the latter as probably "big 
quarter" or "division," from Gaelic c^a^AmwA (pronounced 
" carrou ") tndr.^ An ancient dedication to the Virgin stood 
at Kilmuir, near the head of Dunvegan Loch in Skye, 
where its site is still marked by a burying-ground. 

Kilmuir- Easter is a coast parish of north-east Ross and 
Cromarty. It derived its name from a chapel to the Virgin 
at Delny, which stood in its burying-ground till towards the 
end of the eighteenth century, when the stones of the build- 
ing were removed and the ground was ploughed up.' Kil- 
muir- Wester and Suddie in the Black Isle were united in 
1756 to form the present parish of Knockbain. In North 
Uist is Kilmuir, called " Kilmorie in Vyist " in a.d. 1576, 
and " Saint Mary's Church " circa 1700. The latter is the 
name given by Martin, who mentions the following curious 
superstition at one time prevailing in the parish: "There 
is a stone in form of a cross, opposite to St Mary's Church, 
about five foot high. The Natives call it the Water Cross, 
for the antient Inhabitants had a Custom of erecting this 
Sort of Cross to procure Rain, and when they had got 
enough they laid it flat on the ground."* 

In Skye is Kilmuir parish in the peninsula of Trotternish. 
Kilmaluag was its ancient name. " The church, dedicated 
to St Moluac, stood at Kilmaluag, on the north-east coast 
of the parish. After the Reformation the church of Kilmuir, 
dedicated to St Mary and situated on the north-west coast, 
seems to have become the parish church. Its cemetery 
remains, but the present church, built in 1810, stands on a 
different site."^ There is a Kilmuir in Kildonan parish, 
Sutherland; and there is also a Kilmuir in Cumbernauld 
parish, Dumbartonshire, both once possessing in all prob- 
ability a chapel to the Virgin. 

^ Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 563. 

' Scottish Place-Names, s.v. " Kirriemuir." 

• O. S. A., vol. vi. p. 194 n. * Western Isles, p. 59. 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 349. 


The title of " Our Lady," ^ given to the Virgin, commonly 
appears in topography simply as ** Lady " ; though it occurs 
in full in " Oure-Lady-landis " (Ladylands) at Dunbar, in 
the ' R. M. S.,' under date 1576-77, and in " Our Lady's 
Chapel," "Our Lady Well," and "Our Ladyport," mentioned 
in the same work in connection with the lands of Lytill 
Kylmure in Ross-shire in 1592. We find it also, in 1586, 
in '* Oure-Lady-Petie-land " at Scone; in 1592 in "Our- 
Lady-hous " at Coldingham ; and in 1601 in **Oure Lady- 
land " in the barony of Strathisia in Banffshire. Lady, or 
Ladykirk, was an ancient parish in the south-western part 
of the island of Stronsay, Orkney, now included in the 
united parish of Stronsay and Eday. The eastern division 
of Eccles parish, Berwickshire, is known as the Ladies' 
Quarter, and has been so named after the Virgin, to whom 
the Cistercian nunnery, founded at Eccles by Earl Cos- 
patrick in 1154 or 1155, was dedicated.* This nunnery was 
burned, along with the town, by the Earl of Hertford during 
his invasion of Scotland in 1545. Lady parish is on the 
east side of Sanday island, Orkney. Its church is called 
Ladykirk, or Kirk of Our Lady. 

Ladykirk, a Border parish of south-east Berwickshire, 
comprehends the ancient parishes of Horndean and Up- 
setlington. Its name is accounted for by the tradition that 
James IV. dedicated its church to the Virgin in gratitude 
for his deliverance from drowning, in the year 1500, while 
crossing the Tweed during a freshet of the river. The 
church stands near the Tweed, and has some houses in its 
immediate neighbourhood. A spring in the parish is ap- 
propriately called St Mary's Well. Ladykirk, or Northkirk, 
was an ancient parish in the Orcadian island of Westray, 
now in the united parish of Westray and Papa Westray. 
In Monkton parish, Ayrshire, is the estate of Ladykirk, 
with a mansion, two miles from Prestwick, deriving its name 

^ The church of Banff was dedicated to the Virgin, and the name of the 
burg-h itself has been traced to her. According to Dr Cramondi ''the Rev. 
Allan Sinclair, Kenmore, remarks : ' Banff is a contraction of bean-naomh, 
the holy woman, and the burgh coat-of-arms, we believe, bears evidence 
to this.' " — * The Annals of Banff,' vol. i. p. 4. 

' H. and S., vol. ii., Part I., p. 231. 


from a religious foundation thus alluded to by Chalmers: 
"There was, before the Reformation, a religious establish- 
ment which was called popularly * Our Lady Kirk of Kyle * ; 
but the time of the foundation, or the nature of it, cannot 
now be ascertained. . . . The building formed a square, 
having turrets upon each corner; and there was a chapel 
in the middle of the square. The chapel was dedicated to 
the Virgin Mary, from which it obtained the popular name 
of 'Our Lady Kirk.* In a charter of James IV. in 1490 
it is called ' Capella de la Grace.' In a grant of the same 
king, in 1505, which is entered in the ' Privy Seal Register ' 
in ; the Scottish language, it is called ' The Preceptory of 
Our Lady Kirk of Kyle.*"^ In South Ronaldshay, the 
church known as Ladykirk was held in such reverence two 
hundred years ago that the natives of the island preferred 
to repair it when ruinous rather than to build a new church 
in a more convenient situation and at a cheaper rate.^ 

In Avoch parish, Ross-shire, is Ormond Hill, known also 
as Lady Hill, from " a chaplainry of the Virgin Mary of 
Ormond Hill, in the lordship of Ardemannach." ' At Elgin 
is an eminence called Lady Hill or Lady's Hill, commanding 
a fine view of the Moray Firth and surrounding country, 
and crowned by a pillar bearing a statue of the last Duke of 
Gordon. The Castle of Elgin once stood on Lady Hill, and 
within the fortress was a chapel dedicated to the Virgin. In 
the year 1410 a certain sum was paid for the repair of this 
chapel, — " Pro reparacione capelle beate Virginis in monte 
castri de Elgyn."^ A spring, a little to the west, is known 
as Mary Well. There is a Ladyhill in Grange parish, 
Banffshire, with a Ladywell at its foot. Moffat, in Dum- 
friesshire, has a Ladyknowe, in all probability named from 
some ancient chapel to the Virgin on or near it, but no trace 
of any such building can now be seen. Lady's Bridge is a 
railway station two and a half miles south-west of Banff. In 
Grange parish is Ladysford mansion. In the ' R. M. S.,' 
under date 1575-76, allusion is made to the lands of Ladeis- 
furde, in the barony of Pitsligo, in Aberdeenshire. Culsal- 
mond parish, in the same county, has a Lady's Causeway 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 497. ^ Martin's Western Isles, p. J67. 

' O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 543. ^ Excheq. Rolls of Scot., vol. vit. p. 20. 


and a St Mary's Well, hadyfield is a hamlet on the parish 
boundaries of Longforgan and Fowlis in Perthshire. 

Ladyloan is a quoad sacra parish in Arbroath and St 
Vigean's parishes, Forfarshire. At the end of the Bridge of 
Arbroath once stood a chap>el to the Virgin, locally known 
as the chapel of Our Lady of Aberbrothock. Ladybank is 
mentioned in connection with it in 1592.^ In 1602 we find 
Ladybankis in Marykirk parish, Kincardineshire.^ A chapel 
dedicated to the Virgin is said to have anciently stood on 
the Lady Banks in the Tay, opposite Monifieth. Fife has 
Ladybank, a police burgh in CoUessie parish; Lady Orchard 
and Ladyburn at Cupar, the latter falling into the Eden at 
the east end of the town ; and Lady Craig at St Andrews, a 
rock in the sea beyond the pier, where, according to an old 
tradition, a church was built at an early date, but was for- 
saken on account of the encroachments of the sea, another 
being then built on Kirkheugh. The rock is visible at low 
tide, and it is said that " a pretty copious spring of fine fresh 
water issues from the bottom of it." • 

In Inchinnan parish, Renfrewshire, is Lady Acre, extend- 
ing, not to one acre, but to two and a half acres. In the 
'Continuation to Crawfurd's Renfrewshire'* we read: "A 
very singular circumstance is connected with the ministers 
of this parish, ex officio. They have claimed, as undoubted 
chaplains of the Altarages and Altars commonly called 
* Our Lady's Altar,* founded and of old situated in the kirk 
and parish of Inchinnan, to be undoubted superiors of the 
land called Lady Acre, have granted charters, have received 
feu-duty, and still receive it." This was written in 1818. 
Since then Lady Acre has passed into lay hands. There 
was an altar to the Virgin in the chapel of St Nicolas ^ at 
Lanark, and as we learn from the Burgh of Lanark Records 
and Charters,® "Our Laydy had ane akyr" in the Burgh 
Roods. Lady Acre Road is still a familiar name in Lanark. 

^ R. M. S. > Ibid. 

> Hay Fleming's Guide to St Andrews, p. 75. * P. 385. 

' There was also an altar to the Virgin in the parish church of Lanark 
(St Kentigem's), which stood about a quarter of a mile from the burgh, and 
was in consequence known as the *' Out Kirk." — ' O. P. S.,' vol. i. p. 118. 

• P. 15. 


There is a Lady Acre on the lands of Crosshill in Kilwinning 
parish, Ayrshire; and examples of Ladycroft are found in 
different parts of the country, pointing to some chapel or 
altar to the Virgin. 

The following occur in charters in the ' R. M. S.' — viz., in 
1489, Ladymure in Kilmacolm parish; in 1552-53, Lady- 
yard at Tarbolton; in 1569, Ladypark in Lauderdale; in 
1582, Ladyhall in Cunynghame; in 1593, Ladyheidrig at 
Pittenweem; and in 1612, Lady-cros-myre in Lochmaben 
parish. Ladyland estate, in Kilbirnie parish, Ayrshire, sug- 
gests a connection with some ancient dedication to the 
Virgin. Pont says : " Ladyland appears to have been from 
a pretty remote period secularised, and none of the local 
antiquaries or genealogists seem to have fallen on any 
direct evidence of its spiritual period.'*^ The House of 
Ladyland, described as "a strong touer," was demolished 
in 1815, when a new mansion was built on its site. 

The following are additional instances — ^viz., Ladyland at 
Hawick, Ladyland at Coldingham, Ladyland near Annan, 
Ladyland near Wormet, and Ladyland at Little Dunkeld. 
Sometimes the plural form occurs. Thus we find, in 1429, 
Ladylands near Crail; in 1546, Ladylandis near Ayr; in 
1605, Ladylands in Lochmaben parish; and in the same 
year, Ladylands in Ruthwell parish ; in 1621, Ladylands in 
the barony of Renfrew ; and in 1638, Ladylands near Duns.* 

Lady Glen, in Dailly parish, took its name from a chapel 
to the Virgin, built near the lower end of the glen.' There 
is a Ladybank estate in Kirkoswald parish. Ladyton is at 
the south end of the burgh of Prestwick, while off the same 
coast is Lady Isle. In Maybole parish are Lady Corse, Lady 
Well, and Ladyland, all connected with the now ruined St 
Mary's collegiate church in the burgh, built in 1371 by Sir 
John Kennedy of Dunure, and locally called "the Auld 
College." * A chapel to the Virgin, removed more than fifty 
years ago, stood at Chapel-house, about half a mile from 
Dunlop. It was built "on the side of a rivulet which was 
here crossed by stepping-stones, called the Lady's Steps; 
and this name is still continued, although the steps have 

^ Cunningham Topographised, p. 134. ^ R. M. S. 

' O. S. A., vol. X. p. 35. * Rev. Roderick Lawson*s Maybole, p. 14. 


been superseded by a bridge," i A narrow passage near St 
Giles's Church in Edinburgh, formerly known as Our Lady's 
Steps, owed its name to a statue of the Virgin that stood till 
1829 i^ 3- niche on the north-east corner of the building.* 

In Kirkmahoe parish, Dumfriesshire, is Lady's Meadow, 
near the site of the ancient Castle of Dalswinton, called 
probably after a chapel to the Virgin; but there is some 
doubt as to the origin of the name. There was a " Lady- 
Rowis-Medow in Carrick, in the regality of Crossraguell 
Abbey." In Renfrewshire there is a Ladyburn estate near 
Paisley Abbey. Ladyburn is a stream in Kirkoswald parish, 
Ayrshire ; and in Wigtownshire we find a Ladyburn in the 
parishes of Kirkinner and Old Luce respectively, while in 
Cupar parish, Fife, is another Ladyburn. In Kirkcolm 
parish are Lady Hill, Lady Cave, and Lady Rue, — the last 
being from Gaelic rudha, a promontory. Near Corsewell 
House, also in Kirkcolm parish, is Lady Bay. Sir Herbert 
Maxwell remarks : '' The farm situated on this bay bears the 
Erse equivalent in its name — viz., Portencalzie = Portdn 
cailleach = Port of the Nuns."^ Should we not rather look 
for the origin of the name of Lady Bay in a dedication to 
the Virgin, who in mediaeval times was pre-eminently " The 
Lady " ? 

Lady's Rock, a tide -swept islet between Mull and Lis- 
more, has no connection with the Virgin. It was so named 
from a lady, the wife of Lachlan MacLean of Duart and a 
daughter of the Earl of Argyll, who, in 1523, was there left 
by her husband to perish, but was rescued by a passing 

There are several places in Scotland called after the 
Virgin under her own name of Mary, from St Mary's Holm 
in the north, in Holm parish, Orkney, to St Mary's Isle 
in the south, close to Kirkcudbright. Terregles parish has 
a Maryholm and a Maryfield, while another Maryfield is 
to be met with in New Abbey parish. Dalmary, in the 
north of Drymen parish, Stirlingshire, has practically the 
same meaning as Maryfield. At Chapel -larach, in its 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 556, note. 

^ Wilson's Reminiscences of Old Edinburg-h, pp. 60, 244. . 

• Gall. Top. * Gaz., s.v. " Ehiart." 


neighbourhood^ once stood a chapel said to have been dedi- 
cated to the Virgin, and to have been dependent on the 
Priory of Inchmahome. The following places are mentioned 
in charters ranging in date from 1514 to 1609 : Marisfeild, 
otherwise Marisland, at Inverkeithing; Marisland at Auchter- 
muchty; Marieland at Forgandenny; Marisland at Inver- 
teil ; Mariland near Dumbarton ; Maristoun at Cupar-Fife, 
where there was also a Marie Crux; Marydykes in Fyvie 
parish; and Mariscrag near Lindores.^ 

There is a Mary's Cleugh (i.^., glen) in Dryfesdale parish, 
Dumfriesshire. Maryport is a haven in the south of Kirk- 
maiden parish, near which stood a chapel to the Virgin, 
said to have been quite ruinous when Symson wrote in 1684. 
Symson informs us that the print of the Virgin's knee was 
" fabulously reported to be seen on a stone where she prayed, 
somewhere about Maryport."* St Mary's Isle, near Kirk- 
cudbright, is now a peninsula, though, as the name implies, 
it was once an island. Anciently it was named Trahil or 
Trayl. There, in 11 29, Fergus, Lord of Galloway, founded 
a priory called " Prioratus Sanctae Marise de Trayl," and 
made it a dependency of Hol)n'ood Abbey. The priory was 
surrounded by high walls. The outer gate, known as the 
Great Cross, was half a mile distant from the priory itself. 
The inner gate, leading to the cells of the monks, went by 
the name of the Little Cross. The buildings were entirely 
removed towards the end of the seventeenth century to 
make room for a mansion-house and gardens.^ Heron, 
who visited St Mary's Isle about a hundred years later, 
says : " The grounds are elegantly laid out with abundance 
of trees, shrubbery, and winding walks, with ornamented 
borders." * 

Near Drimfin, in the north-east of Mull, is a sheet of 
water called St Mary's Lake. Better known is St Mary's 
Loch in the Selkirkshire uplands, whence flows the Yarrow, 
beloved of poets. The loch, too, has its poetry, for over it 
Wordsworth and Scott, not to mention other singers, have 
cast a spell that hallows its own natural loveliness. Yarrow 

1 R. M. s. 

* Description of Galloway, p. 65. For Port Mary, &c., inde Appendix. 
' N. S. A., Kirkcudbrig^ht, p. 26. * Journey, vol. ii. p. 200. 


parish was anciently known as St Mary's, or St Mary's of 
the Lowes {de Lacubtis). The Virgin's chapel stood at 
Deuchar, a little to the north-east of the present parish 
church, and was known as the Maiden Kirk. Regarding 
its site, Mr George Eyre -Todd remarks: "High on the 
lonely hillside, where a few bushes wave out of sight of the 
road, rises a green mound — all that is left of the Chapel of 
St Mary. Lonely as the spot is now, it is renowned in 
Border legend, has constant mention in the ancient ballads, 
and has been the scene of more than one historic incident. 
More tradition and poetry, indeed, probably gathers about 
this ancient dependency of Melrose Abbey than about any 
other kirk of its size in Scotland." ^ 

Montrose, in Forfarshire, had a convent of Black Friars 
dedicated to the Virgin, built in 1230 by Alan Durward. 
Jervise remarks : " Although the site of Durward's founda- 
tion is not known with certainty, it may reasonably be 
conjectured that it stood on that portion of the common 
links of Montrose which is situated a little to the eastward 
of Victoria Bridge, and still bears the name of St Mary, 
patroness of the convent."* In 1516 the convent was re- 
moved, by Patrick Panter of the Newmanswalls family, 
Abbot of Cambuskenneth, to the immediate vicinity of the 
town, and was in consequence known as *'the new place." 
It probably stood in or near the present Blackfriars Street. 
Panter granted to it certain teinds, and the fishings of the 
net of the Virgin in the North Esk, called Marynett. 
Within a few years after their removal the Friars asked 
Parliament for leave to return to their old quarters, on 
the ground that their devotions were disturbed by the traffic 
entering and leaving the town. Across the South Esk from 
Montrose is the parish of Mar)rton, where are situated the 
lands of Over and Nether Maryton, which together formed 
the Abthen of St Mary's. On the border of the parish is 
a spring dedicated to the Virgin, from whom the parish itself 
seems to have derived its name.^ In Kincardineshire is the 
parish of Marykirk, so called from the Virgin. Its church 
was consecrated by Bishop David de Bernham on 12th 

^ Byways of the Scottish Border, p. 26. ' Memorials, vol. i. p. 95. 

' N. S. A., Forfar, p. 115. 


August 1242. In a charter, probably circa 1220, reference 
is made to the church of Maringtun, which, judging from 
the topographical particulars given in the context, appears 
to have been the church of Marykirk, not of Maryton.^ 
Abirluthenot was the old name of Marykirk parish. 

Going farther north, we come to Maryculter on the Dee. 
Culter is from Gaelic cul, the back, and tir, land. Jervise 
says : " One of the most important of the possessions of the 
Knights Templars in this district was the barony of Mary- 
culter, and the church of that parish was one of those of 
which the Knights held the vicarage. The old kirkyard 
of Maryculter, situated upon the right bank of the Dee, is 
a singularly romantic spot, containing, among other relics, 
the sculptured effigies of a knight and lady that are said 
to have been of the family of Menzies of Pitfodels. The 
Roman Catholic College of St Mary was established at 
Blairs in this parish in 1829, ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ John Menzies 
having, two years before that time, presented the estate 
and mansionhouse of Blairs to the Roman Catholic 
bishops of Scotland."* 

Loretto School at Musselburgh, in Inveresk parish, Mid- 
Lothian, keeps alive the memory of the chapel of Our Lady 
of Loretto, otherwise styled Alareit Chapel, once situated 
on the margin of the links, outside the eastern gate of the 
burgh. The chapel was burned in 1544 by the English 
under the Earl of Hertford; but its final destruction took 
place in 1590, when its stones were removed to build the 
Tolbooth of Musselburgh.* The town of Loretto in Italy, 
whence the name was borrowed, is about fifteen miles from 
Ancona, on the Adriatic, and contains the celebrated Santa 
Casa, the Cottage of the Virgin, said to have been carried 
miraculously through the air from Nazareth, and set down 
uninjured, in the year 1295, on its present site. Perth had 
also an Allareit Chapel. Regarding it Mr R. S. Fittis 
says : " The founder was Edward Gray, Rector of Lundy, 

^ Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 132. 

* Memorials, vol. ii. p. 252. Vide also Mr John Edwards's " The Temple 
Barony of Maryculter" in the * Transactions of Glasgow Archasol. Society,' 
New Series, vol. iv., Part II., pp. 194-206. 

' N. S. A., Mid-Lothian, pp. 272-274. 


in Forfarshire ; and he carried his design into effect appar- 
ently about the year 1528. The site chosen was on the 
north side of South Street, a little below the Port, in or 
about the locality still distinguished as Loretto Court. 
Perhaps the chapel was built somewhat after the model of 
the famous original in Italy ; and tradition says that it had 
a tower surmounted by a crown." ^ The chapel had a 
garden on the west side and a burying-ground on the north. 
In addition to the chief altar, dedicated of course to the 
Virgin, there were altars to St Nicholas and St Catherine. 
The chapel perished at the Reformation ; but, as Mr Fittis 
points out in the above passage, it has left its impress on 
the topography of the burgh. 

What is known at Old Aberdeen as the Snow Kirk is an 
ancient dedication to the Virgin. The origin of the name 
was at one time accounted for in the district after the 
following curious fashion. It was said that at the Refor- 
mation, when the Roman Catholics were, ecclesiastically 
speaking, out of house and home, they asked, by way of 
favour, that the ground on which snow would fall at a 
particular time might be given to them as a place for 
burying their dead. The historical facts are these: The 
church, which stood on the south side of the old town, was 
built for the parishioners by Bishop Elphinstone in 1497, in 
consequence of a bull from Pope Alexander VI., and was 
dedicated to Maria ad Nives, or St Mary of the Snows.* 
Wilson, in his * Historical Account and Delineation of 
Aberdeen,' published in 1822, when referring to the dedica- 
tion of the Snow Kirk, observes : '* After the Reformation 
the church, with the parsonage and vicarage, was granted 
by King James VI. to King's College. A cemetery sur- 
rounded the church, which, it appears, was the only 
burying*place in ancient times. The cemetery has been 

^ Eccles. Annals of Perth, p. 294. 

^ In 1689 a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow (St Maria zum 
Schnee) was built on the Rigi in Switzerland for the use of the cowherds 
of the district. It contained a so-called wonder-working' image of the 
Virgin. A favourite excursion from Zermatt is to the Schwarz See, where 
there is another chapel dedicated to St Mary of the Snow, to which 
pilgrimages are still made when rain is desired. 



ploughed up, but the site of the church is still used as a 
burying-place by Catholics (Roman) of ancient and wealthy 
families. The bodies of some of their bishops and many 
of their priests lie here ; and it is supposed that none but 
Catholics (Roman) have ever been buried in this place." 
What happened to the building in the time of Charles I. 
is thus described by Gavin Turreff: "The first work that 
he [Principal Guild] began to do was : he employed masons 
to cast down the walls of the Snow Kirk and transport the 
stones to big up the college-yard dykes, and to employ the 
hewn work to the decayed windows within the college, 
whereat many old town people murmured, the samen being 
sometime the parish kirk of Old Aberdeen, within the whilk 
their friends and forefathers were buried."^ 

The question remains, Why was a church at Old Aber- 
deen dedicated to St Mary of the Snows? As we have 
seen, the commission for its erection came from Rome 
towards the end of the fifteenth century. The pope who 
gave the commission must have been acquainted with a 
certain picturesque tradition regarding the building of the 
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline Hill at 
Rome. This tradition is told by Mrs Jameson as follows : 
" A certain Roman patrician, whose name was John [Gio- 
vanni Patricio], being childless, prayed of the Virgin to 
direct him how best to bestow his worldly wealth. She ap- 
peared to him in a dream on the night of the 5th of August 
352, and commanded him to build a church in her honour, 
on a spot where snow would be found the next morning. 
The same vision having appeared to his wife and the reign- 
ing pope, Liberius, they repaired in procession the next 
morning to the summit of Mount Esquiline, where, not- 
withstanding the heat of the weather, a large patch of 
ground was miraculously covered with snow, and on it 
Liberius traced out with his crozier the plan of the 

The popularity of the tradition did not seem to wane 
as years passed. In the century after the building of the 
Snow Kirk of Old Aberdeen, the legend was stereotyped 

^ Antiquarian Gleanings from Aberdeenshire Records, 2nd ed., p. 148. 
* Legends of the Madonna, Introd., p. Ixvi. 


by Murillo, who painted two pictures in illustration of it. 
These are thus described by Mrs Jameson : ** It is curious 
that the two most beautiful pictures consecrated to the 
honour of the Madonna della Neve are Spanish, and not 
Roman, and were painted by MuriUo about the time that 
Philip IV. of Spain sent rich offerings to the Church of 
S. M. Maggiore. The picture represents the patrician 
John and his wife asleep, and the vision of the Virgin (one 
of the loveliest ever painted by MuriUo) breaking upon 
them in splendour through the darkness of the night ; while 
in the dim distance is seen the Esquiline (or what is meant 
for it) covered with snow. In the second picture John and 
his wife are kneeling before the pope, ' a grand old ecclesi- 
astic like one of Titian's pontiffs.'" Mrs Jameson adds: 
** These pictures, after being carried off by the French from 
the little church of S. M. la Blanca at Seville, are now in 
the Royal Gallery at Madrid." 



Bishop in early Celtic Church— No £oceian juris£ction — St Kentigem in 
Cundnria — Scottish Church monastic — Presbyter abbots — Bishop in 
monastery — Seat of Columban supremacy removed from lona to Dunkeld 
— St Columbcts relics — Early bishops at Dunkeld^ jibemethy^ and St 
Andrews — Revival of See of St jindrews — Sees of Moray^ Dunheldy 
Glasgow^ fVhitbom^ Ross^ and Aberdeen. 

There were bishops and bishops in the pre- Reformation 
period. Without doubt an episcopal order existed in the 
Celtic Church both in Scotland and in Ireland; but the 
bishop then was, in one respect at least, very different from 
his successor in later times. The bishop among the Celts 
had no territorial jurisdiction. His seat had not the sym- 
bolism that attached to the episcopal cathedra of later days 
when it was a species of throne within an ecclesiastical 
realm. This distinction has to be borne in mind when we 
speak of bishops in the early Celtic Church. Their functions 
are thus described by Dr Todd : " The bishops were always 
applied to to consecrate churches, to ordain to the ecclesi- 
astical degrees or Holy Orders, including the consecration 
of other bishops ; to give Confirmation and the more solemn 
benedictions ; and to administer the Holy Communion with 
peculiar rites of greater pomp and splendour."^ 

When a Christian missionary left a marked impress on a 
particular district, writers of a later age were prone to call 
such district his diocese. This was so in the case of St 
Kentigern, who preached the Gospel among the inhabitants 

^ Life of St Patrick, p. 5. ' 


of Cumbria in the sixth century, his headquarters being 
at Glasgow, where he had a monastic settlement. His 
biographer, Jocelin of Furness, writing some six centuries 
later, tells us that the king and clergy of the district en- 
throned him ; and *' having called one bishop from Ireland 
after the manner of the Britons and Scots of that period, 
they caused him to be consecrated bishop." The territory 
where the saint laboured is styled by Jocelin ** the diocese 
of that episcopate.'* ^ Cumbria being, as the name implies, 
Cymric, had more in common with Wales than with the 
Gaelic districts of our land; but even in Wales in Kenti- 
gem's time, according to Haddan and Stubbs, bishops were 
not diocesan. Columba visited Kentigern at Glasgow, and 
gave him a pastoral staff which is said to have been pre- 
served in the church of Ripon, and to have been exhibited 
there in the end of the fourteenth century.* 

As we shall see later, the early Scottish Church, like 
the parent Church in Ireland, was monastic in character. 
Bishop Dowden points out that there is reason to believe 
that the monastic establishments of Lismore and Kingarth 
were presided over by bishops.* Out of compliment, how- 
ever, to St Columba, who was a presbs^er, the heads of 
Columban foundations were usually presbyters; but as 
Episcopal functions had to be performed, a bishop was often 
retained in a monastery, and, being one of the brethren, was 
under the jurisdiction of the abbot. Dr Skene remarks: 
"The episcopate was, in fact, in the monastic Church of 
Ireland, a personal and not an official dignity; and 
we find at a later period that inferior functionaries of the 
monastery, as the scribe and even the anchorite, appear 
to have united the ftmctions of a bishop with their proper 

After the burning of the monastery in lona and the 
slaughter of its monks by the Scandinavians early in the 
ninth century, the seat of the Columban supremacy was 

^ Metcalfe's Lives of the Saints, pp. 204, 205. Bishop Forbes remarks : 
'* Ordination by one bishop has always been held to be valid, but irregular." 
— * Lives of S. Ninian and S. Kentigern,' p. 355. 

' Councils, vol. i. p. 142 ; vol. ii., Part. L, p. 5. 

' Celtic Church in Scotland, p. 260. ^ Celt. Scot., voL ii. p. 44. 


removed for greater safety to Dunkeld by Constantinei King 
of Dalriada and of the Picts, who died in 820. About 850 
Kenneth Macalpine added dignity to Dunkeld by bringing 
to it some of St Columba's relics, and, as Dr Skene remarks, 
thereby constituted it as an Annoid or mother-church over 
the Columbans in Scotland. Dr Skene adds : *' Kenneth 
seems to have resolved to place the abbot of his new 
monastery of Dunkeld as bishop over the church in the 
territories of the southern Picts which had now come under 
his rule, with a view to the more ready reorganisation of 
Scottish monasteries within them, so that it should form 
one diocese, as it were, under one bishop." ^ We can here 
trace the germ of the diocesan system which spread over our 
land after feudalism crossed the Border. 

Kenneth's son, Constantine, transferred the bishopric to 
Abernethy, which continued to exercise episcopal control 
till 908, when the bishopric was removed to St Andrews. 
Cellach was the first bishop of the latter see, and was 
styled Epscop Alban — i.e., Bishop of Alban.* The last of 
the bishops so named was Fothad, who died in 1093. 
During the unrest following the death of Malcolm Canmore 
the See of St Andrews remained vacant ; but when his son, 
Alexander I., came to the throne in 1107, a new bishop was 
appointed in the person of Turgot, Prior of Durham. Re- 
garding the building of the cathedral, Messrs MacGibbon 
and Ross remark: "In 1158-59 Arnald, Abbot of Kelso, 
was consecrated Bishop of St Andrews. That prelate im- 
mediately set about the building of the cathedral; but he 
died in 1162, when the work was scarcely begun. The 
structure progressed under his successors; and probably 
the whole, including the west end, was finished in little 
more than a century after its commencement. The original 
west end having been blown down by a tempest of wind, 
was rebuilt by Bishop William Wiseheart (or Wishart) 
between 1272 and 1279. ^^ ^^ usually stated that the 
cathedral occupied 160 years in building, but it would 
appear to have been entirely erected from east to west 
on the ground it now occupies in about 115 years." • The 

^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 307. - Ibid., p. 324. 

3 Ecclesiastical Architecture, vol. iL p. 6. 


cathedral-chapter consisted of the prior and canons of the 
local Augustinian monastery. 

The influence of the see on topography can be traced in 
the name of Bishop's Hill, lying between the shires of Fife 
and Kinross, and near Scotlandwell, where a hospital for 
Red Friars was founded by Bishop William Malvoisin, who 
died in 1238.^ Bishop's Hill lies in the district comprised 
within the ancient deanery of Fothrif, one of the eight 
deaneries included in the See of St Andrews early in the 
thirteenth century. In the ' Exchequer Rolls of Scotland/ ' 
under date 1535, reference is made to Bishopgait (Bishop- 
gate) as one of the boundaries of certain lands near Cupar. 
Bishopgate means the Road of the Bishop. In Abbey St 
Bathan's parish, towards the south of the diocese, in what 
was the Deanery of The Merse, was a walk of considerable 
breadth that went by the name of the Bishop's Loan.' 

About the same time as Alexander I. revived St Andrews 
he created a new diocese in the north — viz., the See of 
Moray. Its chief seat seems to have been at different 
places till about the year 1222, when it was fixed at Elgin, 
having been removed thither from Spynie, where there is 
still a Bishop's Well near the site of the old church. The 
foundations of the cathedral, known as the "lanthorne" 
of the north, were laid about 1224 by Andrew, Bishop 
of Moray. Regarding the building Dr Joseph Robert- 
son remarks : '' The grandest of all the northern minsters 
was unquestionably Elgin. It alone, among the Scottish 
cathedrals of the thirteenth century, had two western 
towers. They are now shorn of their just height, but still 
they may be seen from far, lifting their bulk above the 
pleasant plain of Murray, and suggesting what the pile 
must have been when the great central spire soared to 
twice the altitude of the loftiest pinnacle of ruin that now 
grieves the eye." * 

In the thirteenth century, as we learn from Shaw, the 
diocese of Moray comprised what are now the shires of 
Elgin and Nairn and a considerable part of those of Banff 

^ Sibbald's History of Fife and Kinross, p. 2B2. ^ Vol. xvi. p. 594. 

' N. S. A., Berwick, p. 109. 

* Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 50. 


and Inverness, along with some parishes in Aberdeenshire.^ 
Shaw remarks: **The rental of the bishopric of Moray 
shows that the Church had lands in almost all the parishes 
within the diocess, besides some parishes, as Bimie, 
Kenedar, Ogston, St Andrews, Laggan, that wholly 
belonged to it."* In 1226 the churches of Kingussie and 
Insch were constituted a prebend of Elgin Cathedral.' In 
the latter parish is a farm still styled Balnespick — ue., the 
Dwelling of the Bishop, from Gaelic baile, a dwelling, and 
easbuig (Irish easbog, Old Irish espoc, Latin episcopus), a bishop. 
There is a Bishop's Croft in Knockando parish. The farm 
is situated near the manse of Insch. Bishopmill, a suburb 
of Elgin on the left bank of the Lossie, derived its name 
from a mill erected by Richard, Bishop of Moray, according 
to a charter granted by William the Lion in 1188. The 
chapter of the cathedral was formed by Bishop Bricius 
when the episcopal seat was at Spynie, and was added 
to by Bishop Andrew after its removal to Elgin. Shaw 
mentions a croft near Elgin Cathedral known as Dean's 
Crook, recalling the head of the chapter.* It is a semi- 
circular field, which seems at one time to have been bounded 
by the Lossie, but is now separated by that river from the 
other cathedral lands of Elgin. ^ 

A third see — ^viz., Dunkeld — ^was created, or rather revived 
by Alexander on his accession to the throne, Cormac being 
appointed its first bishop. Dr Skene observes : '* Besides 
the two great lay abbacies of Dull and Glendochart, whose 
united territory comprised the entire western districts of 
AthoU, bounded by Drumalban on the west and the districts 
beyond this range, which afterwards formed the diocese of 
Argyll, we find the new bishopric possessing Within the 
limits of other dioceses disconnected parishes which repre- 
sented old Columban foundations."® The cathedral of 
Dunkeld, whose picturesque ruins stand near the Tay, had 
its chancel built between 1318 and 1337, and its nave 
between 1406 and 1464. Traditions of St Columba were 

* Province of Moray, p. 273. • Ibid., p. 286. 

^ Macpherson's Church and Social Life in the Highlands, p. 120. 

* Province of Moray, p. 283. ' N. S. A., Elgin, p. 95, note. 

* Celt, Scot., vol. ii. p. 371. 


kept alive in the cathedral. One of its large bells bore 
his namey and his twenty-four miracles were painted on 
the reredos of its high altar by Bishop Lauder in 1461/ 
while a bone of the saint was supposed to give efficacy to 
water drunk by the sick during a time of plague. 

Among the place-names in the diocese we find the 
Bishopric, one of the divisions of Little Dunkeld parish, 
stretching some ten miles along the Tay, and formerly 
noted for its orchards. In Blair-AthoU parish is Bohespick. 
The first syllable is evidently Gaelic both, a dwelling, 
primarily a hut, the name thus signifying the Dwelling of 
the Bishop. A piece of land at Dunkeld connected with 
the office of legal adviser to the bishop was known as 
Chancellor's Croft.* The special duty of the chancellor, 
as the Rev. Dr J. F. S. Gordon points out, was " to keep 
the seal of the Chapter, and with it seal all the acts and 
deeds of the Bishop and his Council." * The bishops of 
Dunkeld had a residence at Nether Cramond on the 
Forth, and the place was in consequence known as Bishop's 

A few years after the above sees were organised by 
Alexander L, his brother. Earl David, Prince of Cumbria 
(for he was not King of Scotland till 11 24), was busy with 
the ecclesiastical affairs of his earldom. As Dr Skene 
points out, ** David's possessions in Cumbria consisted 
of the counties of Lanark, Ayr, Renfrew, Dumfries, and 
Peebles. He was overlord of Galloway, and his rule ex- 
tended also over Lothian and Teviotdale in the counties of 
Berwick, Roxburgh, and Selkirk."^ Between 11 16 and 
1 120 he caused an inquest to be made into the early 
possessions of the church of Glasgow within the limits of 
his earldom in order to organise its see, which included 
the greater part of the district where St Kentigern had 
laboured.^ These early possessions were in all probability 

^ Mackenzie Walcott's Scoti-Monasticon, p. 209. 
' O. S. A., vol. XX. p. 428, note. 
' Vade-Mecum to Glasgow Cathedral, p. 144. 
* Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 92. ^ Celt. Scot., vol. i. p. 456. 

' Vide an article on this inquest by Mr J. T. T. Brown in * Scots-Lore,' 
pp. 36-46. 


connected with Kentigern's monastic foundation at Glasgow, 
which would be reckoned the mother-church of the whole 
district. The see, as now constituted, extended from the 
Clyde on the north to the Solway and the march with 
England on the south, and from the river Urr on the west 
to the western limits of Lothian on the east, including 

David appointed John Achaius, who had been his tutor, 
the first bishop of his new diocese. Regarding the cathe- 
dral church built at Glasgow by Bishop John in 1136, Dr 
Andrew MacGeorge observes: "A great part of it was 
probably of wood, and not long afterwards it was destroyed 
by fire. Bishop Jocelin, who was consecrated in 1174, 
probably repaired this original structure. He certainly 
added to it. In the year 1197 the new cathedral was 
dedicated."* Portions of it still remain, having been 
incorporated in the building, forming the lower church 
of the cathedral, erected by Bishop William de Bonding- 
ton about the middle of the thirteenth century. This 
lower church contained the shrine of St Kentigern. At 
a considerably later date the structure of the cathedral 
was enriched by the addition of the crypt of a pro- 
posed south transept — the work of Archbishop Blackadder, 
who died in 1508. This crypt was known as Fergus's 
Aisle, with which, Mr P. MacGregor Chalmers reminds 
us, there is nothing to compare "in the richness of 
its moulded ribs or the beauty of its many carved bosses. 
These are crowded with arms, with beasts and birds, 
and fishes, and foliage in the richest profusion.'" The 
cathedral had two western towers, built, it is believed, 
in the fourteenth century, but taken down — the one in 
1846 and the other in 1848. The south-western tower, 
though only about half the height of the north-western, 
was the more important of the two, for it served as 
the consistory - house where the bishops held their 
ecclesiastical courts, and where the records of the dio- 
cese were preserved. The books of the cathedral library 
appear also to have been kept within its walls, as in 

^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 375. * Old Glasg^ow, p. 99. 

' Scots Lore, p. 93. 


old records the tower is called the library-house of the 

A little to the west of the cathedral once stood the 
Bishop's Castle, whose ruins were removed towards the 
end of the eighteenth century. Dr MacGeorge remarks : 
'* There is a tradition that the bishops had, not very far 
from the castle, a rural manor in a locaUty which was then 
a part of the old Bishop's Forest, but is now almost in the 
heart of Glasgow, and which is traversed by the street in 
Anderston called Bishop Street; but of this I have not 
been able to find any positive confirmation." Dr MacGeorge 
adds : ** The name of the present street, and the name of 
the corn-mills on the west side of it — Bishop's Garden 
Mills — give countenance to this tradition." * In the south 
of the diocese is another Bishop's Forest, the name of a hill 
in Kirkpatrick-Irongray parish, rising to the height of 1285 
feet above the sea, and having its lower slopes above Cairn 
Water clothed with trees. In 1227 the church of Erskine, 
in Renfirewshire, then belonging to Paisley Abbey, was 
transferred to the bishops of Glasgow, and some time later 
was made a prebend of the cathedral. In the parish is 
the village of Bishopton, so called from the estate of the 
same name, described by Crawfurd as a "very pleasant 
property." * 

In Cadder parish, Lanarkshire, were certain lands be- 
longing to the cathedral of Glasgow, which have left their 
impress on local topography. Thus we find Bishop's Mill, 
regarding which the writer of the parish article in the 
*N. S. A.'* remarks: "Every heritor in the Bishop's land 
(comprehending ten townships, each of which contained 
eight ploughgates of land) is, and must be, seized in it, else 
his titles are not valid." In the same parish are Bishop's 
bridge (or Bishopbriggs) and Bishop's Moss, between Hun- 
ter's hill and Springfield. A lake still known as Bishop's 
Loch is on the confines of Cadder and Old Monkland 

^ Archbishop Eyre's "Notes on the Old Vl^estem Towers of Glasg^ow 
Cathedral" in 'Glasgow Archaeologfical Society's Transactions,' New 
Series, voL ii. pp. 253-270. 

* Old Glasgow, p. 113. ' History of Renfrewshire, p. 338. 

* Lanark, pp. 406, 407. 


parishes. At Lochwood, on the south side of the lake, 
the bishops had a castle, where they occasionally resided. 
Mr Johnston is probably correct when he interprets Bishop- 
briggs as lands or rigs of the bishop, the b having crept 
in through confusion with Scotch brig, a bridge.^ Farther 
south we find traces of the influence of the see. St Cuth- 
bert's church in Dryfesdale, in Dumfriesshire, was granted 
to Bishop Jocelin in 1174, and continued to belong to the 
bishops and archbishops of Glasgow till the Reformation. 
A reminiscence of this ownership is to be found in the lands 
of Bishop's Cleugh, referred to in a valuation of 1806 as the 
"twenty- shilling Land of Bishopcleugh." * The greater 
part of Ashkirk parish, in the neighbouring shire of Rox- 
burgh, was the property of the see of Glasgow, and its 
bishops had a residence there, situated on what is now 
glebe-land. Fragments of the walls were visible till about 
the end of the eighteenth century, and the field where they 
stood was long known as Palace Walls.' 

After David became King of Scotland he devoted his 
attention to the creation of other sees. Between 1124 and 
1 130 he revived the ancient bishopric of Whithorn, with 
its memories of St Ninian and his Candida Casa. An 
Anglic bishopric^ had been founded there in the eighth 
century, but lasted only some seventy years. As reor- 
ganised, the see comprised Wigtownshire and the Stewartry 
as far east as the river Urr. About the same time a priory 
for Praemonstratensian monks was founded at Whithorn 
by Fergus, Lord of Galloway. The church then erected — 
the successor of Candida Casa — seems to have served both 
as the church of the priory and as the cathedral church of 
the diocese ; the prior and canons forming the cathedral 
chapter, as in the case of St Andrews already referred to. 

^ Scottish Place-Names, s.v. " Bishopbrig^g^." 

^ Maidment's Topographical Collections. 

' N. S. A., Roxburgh, p. 272. 

* "Another Anglic bishopric had been established north of the Tweed in 
the seventh century — viz., at Abercom in West Lothian. The district there 
was conquered about A.D. 655 by the Angeles under Oswy, and in 681 Trum- 
wini was made bishop at Abercom, but had to quit his see four years later, 
when the Ang-les were expelled from the province.** — Hadden and Stubbs, 
' Councils,' vol. iii. p. 165. 


The ruins of the church have still a fine Romanesque door- 
vray to suggest what the building once was. There is some 
doubt as to the actual restorer of the bishopric. That 
David reorganised the see is the view taken by Chalmers ; 
but Cosmo Innes is inclined to attribute its revival to 
Fergus, Lord of Galloway, just named. He considers, as 
a confirmation of his view, the fact that the Lords of 
Galloway claimed the right to nominate the bishops of 
Whithorn.^ The see was under the jurisdiction of the 
Archbishop of York, and was therefore reckoned English, 
though Galloway, in civil matters, belonged to Scotland. 
It remained subject to York till 1472, when St Andrews 
was made an archbishopric, and the bishops of Galloway 
were declared to be suffragans of the Scottish metropolitan 
see. Nineteen years later their allegiance was transferred 
to Glasgow, when that see attained to the same dignity as 
St Andrews.* 

The bishops have left traces of themselves in the topo- 
graphy of the see. Gillespie, a farm in Old Luce parish, 
Wigtownshire, Sir Herbert Maxwell thinks is the Bishop's 
Cell or Chapel, the first syllable being Gaelic ceall, a church ; 
Quintinespie, in Balmaghie parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, was 
written in 1690 Cultingspie, and this latter Sir Herbert 
interprets as Bishop's Woods. He gives an alternative 
explanation of Ernespie in Crossmichael parish. In his 
* Studies in Galloway Topography' he equates it with Ard- 
nan-espoic — i,e., bishop's hill, but in his 'Scottish Land- 
Names ' with earrann espuig — i.e., bishop's land. Bishopburn, 
flowing between the parishes of Penninghame and Wigtown, 
derived its name from a palace belonging to the bishops 
situated at Clary, a name which itself points to clerical 

The Bishopric of Ross was founded by David between 
1 1 24 and 1128, and was known as the Bishopric of Rose- 
markie till the middle of the following century. Rosemarkie 
had ecclesiastical associations from early times, first through 
St Moluag of Lismore and then through St Boniface, who 
founded a church there and dedicated it to St Peter, under 

^ Sketches of Early Scotch History, p. 206. 
^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 416. 


whose invocation, along with that of St Boniface himself, 
the cathedral was placed at a later date. The burgh seal, 
once the seal of the chapter, bears the names of St Peter 
and St Boniface; and a bell, of date 1460, has those of 
St Mary and St Boniface ; while an annual market is known 
as '* St Boniface Fair." ^ 

The cathedral, believed to have been built early in the 
fourteenth century, stands in Fortrose, about a mile to the 
west of the parish church of Rosemarkie. Neale, who 
visited the place in 1848, remarks: '^ Fortrose is a neat 
little town, standing round a green, much more like England 
than Scotland. On one side of this green are the remains 
of the once glorious cathedral, the see of the bishops of 
Ross. It was not destroyed in the Knoxian Reformation, 
but by Oliver Cromwell, who applied the stones to the 
construction of a fort at Inverness. The fort has perished ; 
the cathedral, in the last stage of decay, still exists. It 
formerly consisted of choir and nave, with aisles to each, 
eastern lady chapel, western tower, and chapter-house at 
the north-east end; what remains consists merely of the 
south aisle to chancel and nave, and the detached chapter- 
house. The style is the purest and most elaborate Middle- 
Pointed ; the material, red sandstone, gave depth and free- 
dom to the chisel ; and the whole church, though probably 
not 120 feet long from east to west, must have been an 
architectural gem of the very first description." * 

Connected with the cathedral was some ground known 
as the " Bischopis Shed " — i.e., portion of land. Balnespie, 
signifying the Bishop's DweUing, at one time occurred in 
connection with the topography of Fortrose, and probably 
referred to the Bishop's residence, whose foundations, en- 
closing a space of about an acre, including the court, were 
dug up in 1835 ^^ 81 fi^^d styled the Precincts.® In a charter 
of 1584 reference is made to "the treasurer's croft in the 
canonry (chanonry), lying between the croft and garden of 
the chancellor of Ross on the west and the croft of the 
chanter on the east, and between the treasurer's principal 

^ N. S. A., Ross, p. 352. 

' Ecclesiological Notes on the Isle of Itfan, Ross, &c., p. 53. 

' N. S. A., Ross, p. J51. 


dwelling on the south and the hill called Craiglaw on the 
north." ^ The towns of Chanonry and Rosemarkie now 
form the royal burgh of Fortrose. They were united in 
1455, and were then erected into a free burgh in favour of 
the Bishop of Ross. Chanonry Point is a tongue of land 
stretching into the Moray Firth, opposite Fort George. 
The name Chanonry here, as in the case of Old Aberdeen, 
mentioned below, points to the precincts of the cathedral, 
where the canons had their residence. 

Dr Skene remarks: ''The next bishopric established 
appears to have been that of Aberdeen, embracing the 
extensive districts between the Dee and the Spey, and 
including the earldom of Mar and Buchan.*'' Nectan, 
Bishop of Aberdeen, witnesses the memorandum of a charter 
by the Mormaer of Buchan, refounding the church of Deer 
not long after David came to the throne in 1124; and this, 
Dr Skene indicates, is the first reference to the See of 
Aberdeen. Among its earliest endowments were certain 
ancient Columban possessions, including the monastery of 
Mortlach, with its five churches.* The story regarding St 
Machar having built a church where he found a bend in the 
Don like a bishop's crook is referred to in another chapter. 

The Cathedral of St Mary and St Machar was built 
between 1272 and 1377, with certain later additions, includ- 
ing the completion of the great central tower by Bishop 
Elphinstone in 1489. After describing the vicissitudes of 
the building, the Rev. Mackenzie Walcott remarks : " It 
retains a nave of five bays, 126 feet by 67 feet 6 inches, with 
pointed arches and round pillars, some having flowered 
capitals well worked; traces of a choir that was aisleless, 
and a fragment of the south wing of the transept. There 
is a south porch with a parvise. The richly-carved pulpit 
remains." ^ The precincts of the cathedral, still known as 
the Chanonry, formed a sanctuary in mediaeval times, and 
had a girth- cross, which stood in the bishop's dove-cot '^ 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 576. ^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 378. 

' Sketches of Early Scotch History, p. 87. 
* Scoti-Monasticon, p. 99. 

' The bishop's dove-cot was removed in 1642, and a song'-school built on 
Its site. 


green. Principal Sir W. D. Geddes points out : " The 
name Chanonry is interesting as showing traces of the 
French influence, exerted, as is well known, so powerfully 
upon our vernacular. The French chanoine rather than the 
English canon has been at work in shaping this local name." ^ 
The bishop's palace stood on the east of the cathedral. It 
was burned down by some English sailors in 1233, but was 
rebuilt in the following century. A piece of ground near 
the cathedral still goes by the name of the Bishop's Garden. 
The Bishop's Croft also lay in the old town. 

Among the emoluments of the see were salmon-fisheries 
in the Dee and the Don. Regarding the Nether Don 
fishing, beginning nearly opposite the house of Seaton and 
extending to the sea, the writer of the parish article in the 
' O. S. A.' * mentions that it is divided into two properties, 
one being called the King's Cavel — i.e., share or portion — 
and the other the Bishop's Cavel, — each cavel including 
six shares called half-nets. A sheet of water, known both 
as the Bishop's Loch and the Dean's Loch, once lay ** on 
the west territories of Old Aberdeen," as described in a 
charter of James VL in 1601. Orem says regarding it: 
'' This loch at first is thought to have been a moss, and 
being cast for peats turned into a loch of water." About 
the middle of the seventeenth century it became the property 
of the burgh of Old Aberdeen, and in 1662 James Gordon 
of Seaton had a nineteen years' tack of the ground from 
the bailies and council. The fate of the loch is thus de- 
scribed by Orem : " He [James Gordon] ditched it round 
about, and planted it with stanks, with a ditch through the 
middle of it, and so drained it« During the space of his 
tack he had plentiful crops of corn upon it, and when his 
tacks were run out, the town took it into their own hands 
and rouped it annually. Then the ditch which was round 
it was filled up, and made corn-ground."* 

There is still a Bishop's Loch near Parkhill, in New 
Machar parish, a small sheet of water anciently known as 


^ The Heraldic Ceiling of St Machar's Cathedral, Old Aberdeen, p. 5, 
> Vol. xix. p. 218. 
' A Description of the Chanonry in Old Aberdeen, pp. 10-14. 


Loch Goul. It received its present name from the circum- 
stance that on an islet in the loch once stood a residence 
of the bishops of Aberdeen, in which one of them — Bishop 
Hugh de Bernham^— died in 1282.^ The foundations of the 
building are still visible. The bishops had a summer 
residence at Fetternear, on the lands of Balquhain, in 
Chapel of Garioch parish, where a house was built in the 
fourteenth century by Bishop Alexander Kininmonth; but 
the bishops do not seem to have left any trace of themselves 
in local topography. On the Sotrm of Cruichie, in Drum- 
blade parish, there is a spring locally known as the Bishop's 
Well.' The church of Clatt was a prebend of the cathedral, 
and in the parish we find the estate of Knockespock — i.c, 
Hill of the Bishop, the first syllable being Gaelic cnoc, a 

^ Temple's Thanag'e of Fennartyn, p. 317. 

' Macdonald's Place-Names in Strathbogie, p. 65. 

THE DIOCESE — continued. 

Sees of CaithneiSf Brechin^ Dunblane^ Argyll^ the Isles^ and Orkney. 

The see of Caithness, comprehending the shires of Caithness 
and Sutherland, was created by David I., probably about 
1 140. For about eighty years after that date the bishops 
had their seat either at Halkirk or Scrabster. In 1223 
Gilbert, Archdeacon of Moray, was appointed bishop, and 
he selected Dornoch for his cathedral church. Mr Hugh 
F. Campbell remarks: "The oldest sacred edifice at Dor- 
noch was identified with the name of S. Bar. Bishop 
Gilbert dedicated the new cathedral to S. Bar, and in his 
time it is referred to as S. Bar's Cathedral. By an Act of 
the Scots Parliament in 1592, the date of ' Barrisfair ' in 
Dornoch was changed from 25th September to loth October, 
* because the corn standing stoukit was destroyed by the 
goods repairing to the mercate.' A further change in the 
date (from loth to 22nd October) was made by an Act of 
the year 1641, and the fair was thenceforth to be called 
*S. Gilbert's Fair.'"^ The bishop was locally styled Gil- 
bard Naomh — t.^., Saint Gilbert — having been canonised 
after his death in 1245. His relics were held in reverence 
till the eve of the Reformation. Apparently soon after 
Bishop Gilbert's appointment to the see he constituted a 
cathedral chapter. "He therefore ordained that in that 
church there should be ten canons constantly ministering 
to the bishop by themselves or their vicars ; that the bishop 

' The Cathedral of Caithness at Dornoch, p. i. 


should preside as head, five of the others holding the dig- 
nities of dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, and arch- 
deacon, each of whom, as well as the bishop and the abbot 
of Scon, who had been appointed a canon in that church, 
should find a priest as vicar to minister there daily in his 
own absence ; and that the other three canons should find 
deacons continually to assist and serve the said priests 
within the church." ^ 

The bishops had three castles — viz., at Scrabster, Skibo, 
and Dornoch, the last bequeathing to its site the name of 
Castle Close. A spring at Skibo is known as Bishop's Well, 
and at Golspie is another spring bearing the same name. 
The dean's house stood at the west end of Dornoch, and 
was a ruin in the beginning of last century, when it was 
pulled down.' The land assigned to the dean in Bishop 
Gilbert's charter was at a later date known as Dean's Field 
or Auchindean. The precentor or chanter had a house in 
the east of the town, and near it was a farm called Ach-a- 
chantoir. Mr Campbell tells us that the modern farm of 
Achinchanter ''includes not only the 'chanter's field,' but 
also the ancient Auchintreasurich or 'treasurer's field.'"* 

Towards the end of David's reign other two bishoprics 
were created — viz., Brechin and Dunblane.* Dr Skene 
thinks that these were probably formed " from the remains 
of the old Pictish bishopric of Abernethy in so far as the 
churches which had been subjected to it had not been 
absorbed by the growing bishopric of St Andrews." Dr 
Skene continues : " We may infer this from the facts that 
though Abernethy was within the limits of the diocese of 
St Andrews, and surrounded on all sides by her churches, 
it belonged ecclesiastically to the diocese of Dunblane ; that 
Abernethy was dedicated to St Bridget, and that we find a 
Panbride in the diocese of Brechin and a Kilbryde in that 
of Dunblane, indicating that the veneration of the patroness 

^ Document in Dunrobin Castle, cited in 'O. P. S.,' vol. ii. p. 6oi. 

' Sage's Memorabilia Domestica, p. 170. 

' The Cathedral of Caithness at Dornoch, p. 7. 

* The editor of ' Liber Insule Missanim ' (Pref., p. v) inclines to the view 
that the see of Dunblane was created by Gilbert, Earl of Stratheam, who 
succeeded to his earldom in 1171, and died in 1223. 


of Abernethy had extended to other churches included in 
these dioceses." ^ A church dedicated to the Holy Trinity 
had been founded at Brechin by King Kenneth, son of 
Malcolm, who reigned from 971 to 995.* This church was 
of a monastic character, and there is reason to believe that, 
as in the case of Dunkeld, mentioned in the previous chapter, 
its abbot became the first bishop of the new see. 

The cathedral, picturesquely situated on a height above 
the South Esk, is of various dates from the twelfth to the 
fifteenth century. It was considerably altered in the be- 
ginning of last century ; but quite recently a restoration was 
carried out more in harmony with architectural traditions. 
The monastic settlement of Brechin was a Culdee founda- 
tion ; and the brethren, along with their prior, formed the 
original chapter of the diocese.* Messrs Haddan and Stubbs 
fix the date of the creation of the see of Brechin circa 1128 
or 1130, and remark: ** A charter of William I., a.d. 1165- 
71, confirms a gift of King David 'Episcopis et Keledeis 
Ecclesie de Brechin,' proving thereby both the date of the 
see in David's reign and the &ct that the Keledei there were 
not expelled, but continued to form the episcopal chapter, 
at any rate for a time." * By the year 1248 the Culdees had 
disappeared from Brechin, and the affairs of the diocese 
were administered by a dean and chapter of the usual 
mediaeval type.^ 

About two miles from Arbroath was a small sheet of water 
long ago drained; but its site, when the ^New Statistical 
Account *of Scotland' was written, was still known as 
Bishop's Loch. There was a Bishop's Croft at Eastertoun 
of Barras in Dunnottar parish. It is not, however, ab- 
solutely certain that Bishop's Loch and Bishop's Croft were 
so called from their connection with Brechin, as they may 

^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 397. 

' For an account of the Round Towers of Brechin and Abernethy, v$de 
Dr Joseph Anderson's * Scotland in Early Christian Times,* First Series, 
PP- 37-45 and 52-55. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 401. Dr Skene observes: "Brechin at this time 
shows us the abbacy in the possession of a lay abbot and a community of 
Keledei under a prior." 

* Eccles. Councils, vol. ii., Part I., p. 216. 

' Uber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc, vol. i., Pref., p. zzvii. 


possibly point to the see of St Andrews, which at one time 
included Angus and the Mearns. Jervise tells us that at 
some distance to the east of the church of New Dosk, in 
Edzell parish, was a sheet of water styled the Cardinal's 
Pool.^ The " Chanter's Brig " in Stracathro parish is thus 
referred to by Dr W. G. Don : " The bridge over the Cruick, 
near the manse, bore the Saxon name * Chanter's Brig,' 
being the spot where the singers from Brechin Cathedral 
passed to the collegiate church of Stracathro."* The cir- 
cumstance mentioned is interesting ; but the bridge is more 
likely to have derived its name from having had some con- 
nection with the chanter or prcuntor of the cathedral. 

The earliest church at Dunblane appears to have been an 
ofiishoot from that of Kingarth in Bute, for its founder was 
St Blane, who still lives in the name of the town. During 
the reign of Kenneth Macalpine the church was burned by 
the Britons of Strathclyde, but the ecclesiastical associa- 
tions of the place evidently conduced to its selection as the 
seat of the new bishopric. The foundation of the present 
cathedral is ascribed to Bishop Clement (1233-58), a Do- 
minican who is said to have received the tonsure from St 
Dominick himself. He is also credited with the organisa- 
tion of the cathedral chapter. Writing in 1693, Slezer 
remarks: '' Dumblane is a pleasant little Town on the 
Bank of the River Allan, where the Ruines of the Bishops 
and Regular Canons Houses are to be seen. Here was a 
Church of excellent Workmanship, a part of which remains 
yet intire. In the Ruines whereof is an ancient Picture 
representing the Countess of Stratherne, with her Children 
kneeling, asking a Blessing from St Blanus cloathed in his 
Pontifical Habit. Not long ago Robert Lighten was Bishop 
of this Place, a Man of an Exemplary Life and Conversation. 
At his Death he left all his Books, both Manuscripts and 
others, to the Use of the Diocess of Dumblane, and morti- 
fied a Summ of Monej^ for erecting a Library." ^ 

The once pleasantly-shaded pathway along which Leigh- 
ton used to pace, with the cathedral and the bishop's palace 

^ Land of the Lindsays, p. 24. 

^ Archaeological Notes on Early Scotland, p. 92. 

' Theatrum Scotia, p. 38. 


on the one hand and the Allan on the other, still recalls his 
memory by its name of the Bishop's Walk. Bishop Leighton 
was at Dunblane after the re-establishment of Episcopacy 
under Charles II., and occupied the see for ten years before 
his removal to the archbishopric of Glasgow. Deanston — ue., 
the Dwelling of the Dean — is still to be met with in the 
neighbouring parish of Kilmadock. The writer of the parish 
article on Dunblane in the 'O. S. A.*^ says that "the 
minister's stipend was originally the dean's living," which, 
in addition to the teinds, consisted of certain feu-duties, 
including those paid from Deanskier in Muthill parish, and 
from Dean's Lundie and Deanstown in Kilmadock parish, 
the last being Deanston just mentioned. 

David I. died in 1153, and some fifty years later the see 
of Argyll was created, comprising part of that of Dunkeld. 
At the request of John, Bishop of Dunkeld, his chaplain, 
Harald, was appointed first bishop of the new see by Pope 
Innocent III. Skene is of opinion that the seat of the 
new bishopric was first fixed in the district of Muckairn, on 
the south side of Loch Etive : and it is interesting to note 
that Muckairn parish was formerly known alternatively as 
Killespickerrill — i.e., the Church of Bishop Harald. The 
episcopal seat was afterwards removed to Lismore, an 
island specially associated with the labours of St Moluag 
in the sixth century. Dr Joseph Robertson remarks : " The 
cathedral of St Moluac at Lismore is perhaps the humblest 
in Britain. The High Church of Argyll is less than sixty 
feet in length by thirty in breadth; it has no aisles, and 
seems to have had neither transepts nor nave."* On the 
shore of Loch Fyne, about half-way between Ardrishaig 
and Tarbert, is a block of stone, locally styled Clach-an- 
Easbuig — i.e., the Stone of the Bishop — but there is no 
tradition as to the bishop indicated by the name.^ In 
Dunoon parish is a hill, 165 1 feet above the sea, known as 
Bishop's Seat. Kilchrenan parish on Loch Awe, as in- 
dicated in chap, v., is believed to signify the Church of 
the Dean. 

^ Vol. vii. pp. 327, 328. 

' Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 78. 

' White's Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Knapdale, p. 84. 


While the Norsemen ruled the Hebrides, the see of the 
Isles, styled in a twelfth-century document " Episcopatus 
Sudreiensis alias Manensis/' was created, — a name still 
recognisable in the bishopric of Sodor and Man. In 1154 
the Bishop of the Isles was made a suffragan of the Arch- 
bishop of Trondhjem. The see (except for forty years — 
from 1 170 to 12 10) remained in subjection to that Nor- 
wegian archdiocese till about the middle of the fourteenth 
century,. though in 1266, during the reign of Alexander III., 
the Western Isles had become, in civil matters, part of the 
Scottish realm. Between 1492 and 1498, John, Abbot of 
the Benedictine monastery of lona, which succeeded the 
Columban foundation, was appointed Bishop of the Isles ; 
and in 1506 the church of the abbey became the cathedral 
church of the diocese. In 1561 Bemera, and certain other 
islands lying to the south of Barray, were held by the 
bishop, and were consequently styled the Bishop's Isles. 
They bore the same name when Martin visited the Hebrides 
towards the end of the seventeenth century ; and till even 
a later date the name of Bishop Island seems to have clung 
to Bernera.^ In lona is a half-drained lake called Lochan- 
Mor, whence flows the stream anciently employed to turn 
the mill of the Columban monastery. On one side of the 
lake is an embankment styled the Bishop's Walk. 

In conclusion we may glance at the see of Orkney, which 
comprehended the island groups of Orkney and Shetland, 
and was created, according to Mr Gilbert Goudie, probably 
about 1102.^ These islands then, and for more than three 
hundred and sixty years after, belonged to Norway, both 
civilly and ecclesiastically, and were transferred to the 
Scottish Crown only in 1468, when they were given to 
James III. as a security for the dowry of his wife, Margaret 
of Norway. About the same time they passed from the 
see of Trondhjem to that of St Andrews. The Celtic Church 
had planted settlements in these northern islands, but 
Christianity was practically obliterated there by the forays 
of the Norsemen, beginning towards the end of the eighth 
century and culminating, in 875, in the conquests of Harold 

^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 366. ^ P. S. A. Scot, vol. xix. p. 214. 


Haarfager, King of Norway. The Christian faith was re- 
introduced early in the eleventh century by St Olaf the 
Holy, King of Norway. Dr Joseph Anderson remarks: 
"When the Norsemen became Christians, Earl Thorfinn 
selected Birsay as the site of the first church erected by 
the Northmen in Orkney. Earl Thorfinn's church was 
simply known as Christ's Kirk in Birsay. It was erected 
before 1064, the date of Thorfinn's death ; and it became 
the church of William the Old, the first bishop of the 
Norse Church in the Orkneys."^ The church at Birsay 
was selected as the resting-place of the body of Earl 
Magnus, devotion to whose memory strongly influenced 
the later fortunes of the bishopric. The earl, known later 
as St Magnus, was treacherously slain by his cousin, Earl 
Hdk6n, in 11 15, on the island of Egilshay. According to 
an Orcadian tradition, the spot where he fell, which was 
mossy and stony, was afterwards miraculously turned into 
"a green field fair and smooth." Commenting on this, 
the writer of the Life of St Magnus says : " God showed 
by this token that Earl Magnus was slain for righteousness' 
sake, and gained the fairness and greenness of Paradise in 
the land of the living." * 

The cultus of the martyred earl rapidly spread throughout 
the Scandinavian world. As Dr Joseph Robertson remarks, 
" Pilgrimages were made to his shrine at Birsa, vows paid 
in his honour, prayers offered for his intercession from all 
parts of the northern archipelago, firom Scotland, from 
Sweden, from Denmark, firom Norway."^ One result of 
all this was that Earl Ronald, son of Earl Magnus's sister, 
when deprived of his possessions in the Orkneys, vowed 
that if he recovered them he would build a splendid church 
and dedicate it to the memory of his murdered uncle. 
Accordingly, after success came to him, he began in 1137 
to build what is now the cathedral of St Magnus at Kirk- 
wall.^ Thither the relics of its patron saint were in due 


' Scotland in Early Christian Times, First Series, p. 171. 
^ Metcalfe's Lives of the Scottish Saints, p. 351- 
' Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 59. 

* For an account of the architectural features of the building, vide 
Neale's ' Ecclesiological Notes,' pp. 93-107. 


time brought with much ceremony, Kirkwall thereafter 
superseding Birsay as the seat of the bishopric. 

Near the cathedral are the remains of the bishop's palace, 
in form a parallelogram, 112 feet by 27 feet. The building 
has still some Romanesque features, but has been so much 
altered that but little of the original work remains. King 
Hakon sought refuge in the palace after his defeat at the 
battle of Largs in 1263, and subsequently died within its 
walls. Opposite the market-cross in Broad Street is an old 
mansion. Over the archway leading into its courtyard is a 
sculptured stone bearing the date 1574. The house was 
originally the residence of some of the cathedral dignitaries, 
including the dean, treasurer, sub-chanter, and chancellor.^ 

It is curious to find in Dumbartonshire a reminiscence of 
an occupant of the see of Orkney. One of its bishops, 
thought by Mr Joseph Irving to have been Robert of Caith- 
ness, whose brother Matthew, Earl of Lennox, was head of 
the collegiate church of Dumbarton, constructed a dyke 
beside the Leven to keep its waters within their channel. 
This dyke was in consequence known as the Bishop's Cast, 
and, according to Mr Irving, was so named in a charter 
granted to the burgh in 1609 by James VI.* 

^ Guide to the Scottish Archaeological Tour of the Royal Society of Anti- 
quaries of Ireland, June 1899, p. no. 
' History of Dumt>artonshire, p. 170, note. 



Origin of moruuticism — /// spread to the West — The Twelve Apostles of 
Ireland — lona — Early Celtic monastery — Port^na^Muintir — Port^na^ 
Marhh — Torr Abb — Dun Ni Manich — Eilean na m* Ban — Nuns' Cave 
— Nuns' Hill — Nuntown — Baillvanich — lollen ^na^ Moinoch — St 
Columba's foundations — Mugstot^ i^c, — Chtdh - Mhanaich — Monks* 
Field — BalTtmoney — BaHinaby — Unganab — Carmunnock — Inch-ta* Van^ 
noch — Inch-Cailleach — Monastic influence in south-tvest — Knockmanister^ 
iffc. — Abthen — Appin — Abden — Ab(^ — Me^Rsvcd abbots — Feuda&sm 
— Monastic orders of Rome — English models. Influence on topography 
of medieval monasteries — Paisley Abbey — Crossraguel Abbey — Lindores 
Abbey — Selkirk Abbey — Kelso Abbey — yedburgh Abbey — Franc'ucan 
Conventy Jedburgh — Canonbie Priory — Greyfriars' Monastery, Roxburgh 
and Dumfries — Sweetheart Abbey — Dundrennan Abbey — Tongueland 
Abbey — Kirkchrist Nunnery, 

Egypt was the birthplace of monasticism. Anthony the 
Hermit, who died in 356 at the age, it is said, of 106, was 
the first to popularise such a mode of life. For many years 
(as we saw in chap, iii.) he himself led a solitary life in the 
desert, and became so famous for his austerities that disciples 
flocked to him to seek advice. As Montalembert says, he 
'^ became the father and head of all the anchorites of the 
Thebaid, whom he thus transformed into cenobites." 
Anthony's instructions were simply oral ; but Racome, who 
lived from 292 to 348, supplied the recently made monks 
with a written rule for their guidance. He founded, at 
Tabenne on the Nile, in the higher Thebaid, the first regu- 
larly organised monastic settlement, or rather a collection of 
eight such settlements, containing several thousand monks. 
Ammon established on the mount of Nitria, on the borders 
of Libya, a species of religious republic consisting of 5000 


monks, "where they might live in labour and liberty." Such 
is Montalembert's account of the origin of monasticism in 
the East.^ 

St Athanasius of Alexandria, a friend of Anthony, intro- 
duced the new ideal to the West, particularly to Italy and 
Gaul. In both countries it was eagerly adopted. In Gaul, 
St Martin became its chief exponent. He founded the 
monastery of Ligug6, in 361, at the gates of Poitiers ; and 
after his appointment to the bishopric of Tours, in 372, he 
founded another near his episcopal seat known as " Majus 
Monasterium," and later as " Marmoutier." Dr Skene has 
pointed out that monasticism reached Ireland from Gaul by 
two channels. The first was the intercourse between St 
Martin and St Ninian, who visited the former in Tours 
before building his Candida Casa at Whithorn, where the 
monastery of Rosnat — known as Magnum Monasterium — 
was founded. This monastery became a school of secular 
and religious teaching to various saints from the north of 
Ireland, who carried back with them the principles of a 
monastic life 

The second channel was the spread of monasticism from 
Tours through Bretagne into Wales, whence it passed into 
the central and southern districts of Ireland. This was 
accomplished through the instrumentality of St Finan or 
Finnian, an Irish Pict who spent thirty years in Wales in 
St David's monastery at Kilmuine and elsewhere ; and, after 
returning to Ireland, founded a monastic settlement at 
Clonard in Meath, which is said to have contained 3000 
monks. As a result, there was, as Dr Skene points out, " a 
great revival and spread of Christianity through a new and 
living organisation based upon the monastic institution." 
This work was carried out by twelve of St Finan's chief 
disciples who were known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, 
and included such men as Kieran, Brendan, Kenneth, and — 
greatest of all — Columba. The monastic Church was 
speedily introduced into Scotland, where it was planted 
in lona, which long continued the principal centre of 
religious activity in our land. 

^ Monks of the West, pp. J03-312. 


The early Celtic monastery was a collection of humble 
structures comprising the cells of the monks, the abbot's 
house, the church, the refectory, the kitchen, the kiln, the 
hospitium for the reception of strangers, the barn, and, when 
there was a stream suitable for the purpose, a mill for grind- 
ing the corn of the monastery. The whole settlement was 
surrounded by a vallum, consisting of earth or mixed earth 
and stones, termed a rath or lios; or of earth faced with 
stones; or a rampart formed entirely of stones known as 
a caiseal or casheL All the dwellers in a monastery were 
styled its muintir or familia. This term was applied in a 
narrower sense to the inmates of a particular monastery, 
and, in a wider sense, to all the monks, wherever situated, 
who were under the jurisdiction of its abbot, — for daughter- 
monasteries were ruled by the head of the parent-monastery. 

The term muintir is represented in the topography of 
lona, where we find Port-na-Muintir, regarding which Dr 
Skene remarks: "The small creek now called Port-na- 
Muintir, or the Harbour of the Community, is, from its 
situation opposite a similar harbour on the coast of Mull, 
probably the partus insula or landing-place of the island, 
mentioned by Adamnan."* Another creek on the same 
side of the island received the name of Port-na-Marbh — 
i.e,y the Port of the Dead, because bodies meant for inter- 
ment were landed there. They were borne to St Oran's 
burying-ground along a paved path known as Straid-na- 
Marbh — f.^., the Road of the Dead.* A rocky eminence 
on the west of the cathedral is called Torr Abb — 1.«., the 
Abbot's Hill. Bishop Reeves thinks that it is the site of 
a structure alluded to by Martin, who, after describing St 
Martin's Cross, says : " At a little further distance is Dun 
Ni Manich — f.e.. Monk's Fort — built of Stone and Lime, in 
form of a Bastion, pretty high. From this Eminence the 
Monks had a view of all the Families in the Isle, and at 
the same time enjoy'd the free Air." ' Bishop Reeves men- 
tions that the artificial part of the structure no longer 
exists.^ Other names on the map of lona connected with 
the monastic life of the island are Port a Mhuilinn and 

^ Celt. Scot., vol. ii. pp. 45-126. ^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 297. 

' Western Isles, p. 359. ^ Adamnan, Introd., p. cxlii. 


Sruth a Mhuilinn, signifying respectively the Haven and 
the Stream of the Mill; Lochan-a-Mhanaich, the Monk's 
Lakelet; Blar nam Manach, Maol nam Manach, and Tra 
ban nam Manach^ the Field, the Hill-brow, and the White 
Strand of the Monks respectively.^ In the Sound of Mull 
is an island called Eilean na m' Ban — i.e., Island of Women 
— viz.f nuns. Till recent times traces of a building known 
as the Nunnery were visible on the island.^ 

At Carsaig, on the south coast of Mull, is the Nuns* Cave, 
with several rudely incised crosses on its walls; but there 
is no tradition as to when or under what circumstances 
the cave received its name. On the south side of the islet 
of Inch -ma-home, in the Lake of Menteith, is a romantic 
height called Nuns' Hill. The Augustinian priory on the 
islet, founded in 1238, is recalled, according to Mr Johnston, 
by Arnprior in Kippen parish, denoting the Height of the 
Prior.' In Benbecula is the farm of Nuntown, where a 
nunnery once stood; but according to the writer of the 
parish article in the 'N. S. A.'* it was taken down, and 
the stones were used to supply building materials for Clan- 
ranald's mansion and offices. When Muir visited the place 
about the middle of last century, he found in an enclosed 
burying-ground " the almost perfect shell of a chapel," with 
a broken cross inside.'^ Two miles north of Nuntown is 
Baillvanich — j.^., Monks'-town — ^where, on an elevation in 
some swampy ground, once the bed of a lake, '' are remains 
said to be those of a monastery, but probably the remains 
of a chapel belonging to the monks of lona." ^ Ten miles 
to the south-west of North Uist is Helsker or Husker, 
formerly known as loUen-na-Moinoch — f.^.. Island of the 
Monks — ^where there is believed to have been a chapel. 

St Columba was fitly described as " monasteriorum pater 
et fundator," because of the many monasteries founded 
either by himself or his disciples, the number being given 
by one author at 300, — "an amount which," as Bishop 
Reeves remarks, "even after the most liberal allowances 

* Adamnan, pp. 329-333. ■ Ibid., pp. 144, 329-333. 
' Scottish Place-Names, s,v, "Arnprior." 

* Inverness, p. 188. " Eccles. Notes, p. 49. 

* O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 370. 


for poetry, round numbers, and paneg3n:ic, will leave a very 
considerable residuum." Warren mentions that of the 
monasteries thus founded in Scotland among the Picts and 
Scots, the names of fifty-three in addition to that of lona 
have been preserved.^ It is sometimes difficult to dis- 
tinguish the traces of Columban foundations to be met with 
in topography from those belonging to a later period, when 
the Celtic Church was superseded by the Roman. On what 
was once an island in the now drained Loch Columkille, 
in Kilmuir parish, Skye, are the foundations of a monastery 
dedicated to St Columba; and in its neighbourhood is 
Mugstot, which, like Mangarista in Lewis, and Mangaster 
occurring twice in Shetland, Captain Thomas interprets 
as Munku-stadr — ue., the Monks' Stead or Abode.* There 
was a chapel to St Columba on the left of Fladda-Chuain 
(also in Kilmuir parish), on whose altar lay a blue stone 
which, as Martin tells us, was believed to work miracles. 
There are three burying -grounds in the island. One of 
these, probably that of the chapel, is known as Cladh- 
Mhanaich — i.e., the Burying-place of the Monks.* 

On the island of Borreray, off the coast of North Uist, 
is a graveyard called, as Martin tells us, ** the Monks' Field, 
for all the monks that died in the Islands that lie North- 
ward from Egg were bury'd in this little Plot." Martin 
adds : " There are big Stones without the Burial-place even 
with the Ground. Several of them have little Vacuities in 
them as if made by Art; the Tradition is that these 
Vacuities were dug for receiving the Monk's Knees when 
they pray'd upon 'em."* Ballimoney in Islay^^Baile 
Mhanaich, is the Dwelling or Townland of the Monks; 
and Ballinaby, also in Islay, corresponding to Baile-an- 
Abba, points to an abbot as having had a dwelling there. 
Professor Mackinnon remarks : " The system of land 
measure which took root in the Western Isles, and fi'om 
thence extended to the mainland of Argyll, is not Irish or 
Pictish, but Norse. The unit is the ounce-land — that is, 

^ Adamnan, Introd., p. xlix, and Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, 

P- 15- 
'^ P. S. A, vol. xi. p. 493. ' N. S. A., Inverness, p. 265. 

^ Western Isles, p. 68. 


the extent of land which paid to the Earl in money or 
produce an ounce of silver." Professor Mackinnon notes 
that ounce appears in topography as unga, borrowed from 
Latin uncia, and that we have an example in Unganab in 
North Uist — i.e., the Ounce of the Abbot, which he reminds 
us was included in the rental of the bishopric of the Isles.^ 

Carmunnocky in Lanarkshire, seems to have had some 
early monastic associations, if we accept Mr Johnston's 
interpretation that as the name was written Cormannoc 
circa 1177, it probably represents Coire-Manaich, the Glen 
or Corrie of the Monk.* Certainly about the date just 
mentioned the Paisley monks became owners of property 
in the parish. Cosmo Innes observes: ''About the year 
1 180, Henry, the son of Anselm, gave to the monks of 
Paisley the church of Cormannoc, with a half plough of 
land in the manor, and right of common pasture, bequeath- 
ing a third part of his substance to the church of Saint 
Mirinus of Paisley, and the bodies of himself and his wife 
Johanna to be interred there. A condition was added that 
if the monks granted the parsonage to any one, he should 
do fealty to the lord of the manor. The grant was con- 
firmed by King William the Lion ; and Bishop Jocelin 
likewise confirmed it, and allowed the monks to hold the 
church to their own use and for their support."^ As we 
shall see in chap, xxii., Inch-ta-Vannoch and Inch- 
Gailleach, in Loch Lomond, signify the Island, respectively, 
of the Monk's House and of the Nun, the latter reference 
being to St Kentigema, mother of St Fillan, who retired 
thither some years before her death in 734. 

Sir Herbert Maxwell indicates several examples of place- 
names in the south-west of Scotland showing traces of 
monastic influence.^ His examples include the following — 
viz., Knockmanister in south Ayrshire, and Auchenmanister, 
near Glenluce Abbey, in Wigtownshire, meaning respectively 
the Hill and the Field of the Monastery ; Milmannock, near 
Ayr, the Monk's Hill (mil being Gaelic tneall, a lump); 
Drummanister in Balmaclellan parish, Drummanoch in 

^ Scotsman, Article No. xiii. 

' Scottish Place-Names, s,v. ** Carmunnock." 

' O. P. S., vol. i. p. 64. ^ Gall. Top. and Land-Names. 


Buittle parish, and Drumanoghan, Wigtown parish, are 
interpreted as the Ridge of the Monastery and of the Monks, 
respectively, — Drumanoghan being for Druim-Manachan, a 
diminutive form. Sir Herbert explains Kirminnoch, in 
Inch parish and in Kirkinner parish, as the Monk's Quarter- 
land; and Kermanachan, in Kirkholm parish, as the 
Quarter-land of the Monks. Arnmannoch, in Kirkgunzeon 
parish, and Ironmannach near Parton, he equates with 
Ard-na-manach — i.e., the Height of the Monks. It may 
be remarked in passing that the castle and lands of Red- 
castle in Ross -shire were anciently called Ardmanach. 
Lane-mannoch, in Kells parish, is thought to be the Stream 
of the Monks — a hybrid word, the first syllable being lane, 
Scots for a sluggish stream. Castlemannoch, in Kelton 
parish, is the Castle of the Monks, and Portbriar at the 
Isle of Whithorn, the Haven of the Friars ; while Porten- 
calzie, in Kirkholm parish, is the Haven of the Nuns. 

Balnab, the Abbot's Dwelling, was near Glenluce Abbey, 
founded in 1190 for Cistercian monks from Melrose. There 
is another Balnab in the parish of Whithorn. Regarding 
it Sir Herbert remarks: ''This name seems to be of a 
high antiquity, dating from the days when there were 
abbots of Whithorn, which was not later, at all events, 
than the close of the succession of Saxon prelates, about 
the year 800 a.d. When the see was restored in the twelfth 
century, Whithorn became a priory."^ In Sorn parish, 
Ayrshire, is the estate of Auchmannoch, giving name to 
the neighbouring Auchmannoch Muir. This, Sir Herbert 
remarks, is the same as Monkscroft near Auchterarder ; but 
Bishop Forbes connects it with St Monachus or St Monk, 
who was patron of the church of Stevenston in Ayrshire, 
and whose fair is held there on the 30th of October, locally 
known as Sam-Maneuke's Day.^ 

The Gaelic term abaid, an abbey, gave rise to the name 
abihen, applied originally to lands belonging to Columban 
foundations. Cosmo Innes remarks : '' In many cases 
where the ancient monastery had disappeared before the 
period of our records, traces of its former possessions are 

» GalL Top. « Kal. 


found in the lands named Abthania or Abthane, so frequent 
in Angus and the neighbouring districts. Among the early 
gifts to the Abbey of Arbroath, King William granted the 
church of St Mary of Old Munros, with the land of that 
church which in Scotch is called 'Abthen.' That Scotch 
word is translated in another charter terra abbacie de 
Munros^''^ In a charter of 1220 reference is made to the 
land of the Abthetn of Munifeth, now Monifieth, near 
Dundee. At Edzell there was an ancient Columban 
foundation, with lands belonging to it, which afterwards 
passed to a lay abbot, who seems in consequence to have 
adopted the surname of Abbe.* At Dull, in Perthshire, a 
monastery was founded by St Adamnan towards the end 
of the seventh century. Its abthanrie is still remembered 
in the local name of Appin. It had extensive possessions 
in Strath Tay and Glen Lyon. Mr D. P. Menzies states 
that the district extending from near the mouth of Glen 
Lyon on the west to about a mile beyond Aberfeldy 
on the east used to be known in Gaelic as Appin -na- 
Meinerich — uc, Appin of the Menzies, because it formed 
part of the possessions of the Menzies '* as far back as 
charters go."* 

Appin in Argyll was so called from its connection with 
the ancient monastery on the opposite island of Lismore. 
The district contains Appin Bay, Port Appin, and the Airds 
of Appin on the peninsula between Loch Linnhe and Loch 
Creran. There is an Appin Hill in Tynron parish, Dum- 
friesshire. The church-lands in the parish belonged to the 
Abbey of Holywood, and were probably the possessions 
of Celtic foundation at an earlier date. Appin near Dun- 
fermline, and Abden near Kinghorn, point in all probability 
to some early Celtic monastery, even though one or both 
may have belonged to Dunfermline Abbey at a later period. 
In the * Exchequer Rolls of Scotland,'* under date 1358, 
reference is made to "Abthania de Kyngome," evidently 
the same as Abden just mentioned. Kettins, in Forfarshire, 
is believed to have been the site of a Columban foundation. 
Jervise observes : ** This belief seems to be confirmed in a 

1 Early Scotch History, p. 7. * Celt. Scot., vol. ii. pp. 394, 395. 

' Red and White Book of Menzies. ^ Vol. i. p. 564. 



charter of about 1292-93, by which Hugh of Over, lord of 
Ketenes, granted 'his well in his lands and Abthanage of 
Ketenes, called Bradwell, with its aqueduct/ to the Abbey 
of Cupar." ^ In ancient times the lands belonging to the 
Columban monks of Abemethy extended several miles to 
the east of the monastery. We find a trace of them in the 
name of the parish of Abdie, formerly Ebedyn, which, as 
the Rev. D. Butler indicates, is a corruption of Abthen or 
Abden.* Mr Johnston and Mr Liddall connect Abdie 
with the monastery of Lindores; but it is to be remem- 
bered that Abthen points to a Columban rather than 
to a mediaeval foundation, Lindores, as we shall see, being 
an example of the latter class. The parish of Newburgh, 
it is true, now divides Abemethy from Abdie; but it 
dates only from modern times, having been created in the 
seventeenth century from portions of these two parishes. 

There is some force in the late E. A. Freeman's jest 
that "in Scotland abbots were clearly greater birds than 
bishops." There is no doubt that the abbots in the Middle 
Ages, particularly the mitred abbots, were very important 
personages. During the process of introducing feudalism 
into our land in the twelfth century from across the Border, 
a great change was made in the condition of the old 
Columban monasteries. A marked feature of the policy 
then so popular was, as Dr Skene indicates, that of intro- 
ducing the monastic orders of the Church of Rome and 
of " establishing monasteries which should form centres of 
influence for the spread of the new system. Upon these 
monasteries the remains of the old Columban foundations 
were to a large extent conferred; and in this policy the 
monarchs were very generally seconded by the great earls 
and barons of Scotland." * When referring to the influences 
from south of the Tweed in the creation of Scottish 
monasteries, Dr Joseph Robertson observes: "Canterbury 
was the mother of Dunfermline, Durham of Coldingham; 
St Oswald's, at Nosthill near Pontefract, was the parent 
of Scone, and through that house of St Andrews and Holy- 

^ Epitaphs, &c., vol. ii. p. 99. ' History of Abemethy, p. 236. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 592. 


rood. Melrose and Dundrennan were daughters of Rievaux 
in the North Riding; Dryburgh was the offspring of Aln- 
wick; Paisley of Wenlock."^ 

It may be interesting to glance at the traces left on topog- 
raphy by some of our larger monastic establishments. In 
certain cases these establishments gave rise to the burghs, 
where their remains are still to be seen. Thus Paisley is 
the daughter of the Cluniac monastery founded there about 
1 160 by Walter Fitz-Alan, High Steward of Scotland, 
and dedicated to St James, St Mirren, and St Milburga of 
Wenlock. The monastery was at first a priory, but in 
1245 was definitely raised to the dignity of an abbey, a 
privilege provisionally granted some time earlier, and, 
as the editor of the 'Reg. de Passelet'* mentions, **a 
century later (probably in the year 1334), Pope Benedict 
XII. granted to the abbot the privilege of using a mitre 
and ring, the insignia of a bishop, and of exercising the 
episcopal functions in all churches and other places subject 
to the monastery." The burgh of Paisley has still its Abbey 

So extensive were the possessions of Paisley Abbey that 
in 1265 thirty churches belonged to it, eleven of these being 
in Renfrewshire. Before settling at Paisley the monks 
found a resting-place near Renfrew, where Abbot's Inch* 
and Monk-Dyke are still to be found, recalling grants of 
land made to the monastery. Among its other grants was 
the district now included in the united parish of Monktoun 
and Prestwick in Ayrshire. Chalmers says : ** The united 
parish of Monktoun and Prestwick comprehends the whole 
of the old parish of Prestwick that was anciently called 
Prestwick-borough. The monks of Paisley having obtained 
from Walter not only the church of Prestwic, with the 
glebe and pertinents, but the property of the lands forming 
the manor of Prestwic, this place was called *the Monks 
Prestwic,' and afterwards Monktoun. This last superseded 
the original name, which was dropt; and the village, 

^ Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 27. ^ Introduction, p. v. 

' The name seems to have been g-iven after the removal of the monastery 
to Paisley and its elevation to the dignity of an abbey. 


the church, and the parish have since been called 
Monktoun/' ^ 

In 1244 Crossragnel Abbey, in Maybole parish, was 
founded by Duncan, Earl of Carrick, for Clnniac monks 
from Paisley* The new foundation was to be independent 
of the mother-house except for an annual visitation by the 
head of the latter to correct any irregularities that might be 
found at CrossragueL* The ruins of the monastery stand 
on a piece of ground of eight acres in extent, called the 
AbbotVYard or precincts of Crossraguel. They comprise 
the roofless church, 160 feet by 25 feet (the apsidal choir 
containing an aumbry, sedilia, and an altar tomb), a square 
chapter-house, formed in the fifteenth century to take the 
place of the south transept, and some remains of domestic 
buildings on the south side.' The estate of Monkwood, in 
the same parish, was probably so named from its connection 
with the monks of Crossragnel. The regality of the abbey 
included, among other lands, those of AbbotshiU.** 

The Tyronensian abbey of Lindores in Fife was founded 
towards the end of the twelfth century.* Its erection was 
the result of a vow made by David, Earl of Huntingdon, 
grandson of David I., when in peril of shipwreck on his 
return from the Crusades. The site selected was a gentle 
rising-ground overlooking the Tay, where the ruins of the 
abbey may still be seen. The monastery was dedicated to 
St Mary and St Andrew, and was noted for its orchards. 
Sibbald says: ''Anciently within Earn's-side-wood are the 
ruins and seat of the abbacy of Lundoris, a right sweet 
situation, and of a most rich soil, witness the vastly big old 

' Caledonia, vol. iii. pp. 505, 506. " In 1225 Maldoven, Earl of Lennox, 
confirmed to the monks of Paisley a piece of land called in his charter 
Dallenlenrath, thoug^ht to be Dalmonach in Bonhill parish, Dumbartonshire 
— f.#., Monksfield." — ' Keg. de Passelet,' p. 212. 

* Crossragnel Charters, vol. i., Introd., p. xxiv. 

* Vide Walcott's Scoti-Monasticon, p. 294. 
^ Crossraguel Charters, Introd., p. Iviii. 

' Bishop Dowden is of opinion that Guido, the first abbot of Lindores, 
was appointed in 11 91. He shows that without doubt Guido was abbot in 
1 195. — ' Chartulary of Lindores,' Introd., p. xvi. For notes on Seals con- 
nected with Lindores Abbey, by William Rae Macdonald, F.S.A. Scot., 
vide the same work, pp. 327-331. 


pear-trees there." * The neighbouring town of Newburgh 
sprang up under the fostering care of the abbey. In 1266 
it was erected into a burgh of barony by Alexander III. in 
favour of the abbot; and in the charter of erection it is 
described as ^' novus burgus juxta monasterium de Lindores." 
A spring at Newburgh is known as the Abbot's Well, and 
another as the Monks' Well ; while in CoUessie parish are 
Monkstown and Monksmoss, the district there having been 
granted to the monastery to supply it with heather and moss 
for fuel.* When Edward III. of England was in Perth in 
1335, he ordered the fortifications of the city to be renewed 
at the expense of certain monasteries — one of them being 
Lindores. Accordingly its abbot built the Spey-gate, and 
a tower which, from its monastic associations, received the 
name of the Monk Tower.* The church-lands of Monkegie, 
in Aberdeenshire, were for a time the property of the mon- 
astery of Lindores. An eminence east of the old burying- 
ground of the parish is still known as the Monks' Hill.'* 

The monks settled at Lindores came from Kelso, where 
an abbey was founded by David I. circa 1126 as the suc- 
cessor of one founded at Selkirk by him some years earlier, 
when he was Earl of Cumbria, but removed, as his charter 
indicates, because Selkirk was not suitable for an abbey 
(" non conveniens abbathiae "). In connection with David's 
desire to plant a monastery at Selkirk, Mr T. Craig-Brown 
remarks : " He applied to St Bernard, founder of the Bene- 
dictine establishment at Tiron, who spared him a draft of 
thirteen of his followers, men not only of Christian faith 
but of skill in many branches of industry. To provide for 
this valuable band of colonisers, whom he located near his 
own strong castle of Selkirk, Earl David endowed them with 
wide possessions and valuable privileges." The monastery 
thus founded gave rise to the name Selkirk -Abbatis, in 
contrast to that of Selkirk-Regis, a distinction kept up in 
ecclesiastical documents for a century or two. Mr Craig- 
Brown says : " We are inclined to think that the property 
now and in past memory known as The Batts, lying in * the 

^ History of Fife and Kinross, p. 403. ^ N. S. A., Fife, p. 30. 

' Fittis's Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 28. 
* Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 301. 


land of Selkirk/ as we interpret the charter, has something 
to do with the old designation." ^ 

Among the extensive possessions of Kelso Abbey was 
some land in Carluke parish, Lanarkshire. In a rental of 
the abbey, of date 1567, the vicarage of Carluke is rated at 
nine pounds six shillings and eightpence, and its kirkland 
at four pounds.^ The ancient church of Carluke, known as 
the Forest-Kirk, stood near the Clyde, where the farmhouse 
of Mauldslie-Mains is situated. Some ground close to its 
site long went by the name of the Abbey- steads.* In a 
charter undated, but granted probably circa 1160 by Hugh 
Riddell, Lord of Cranston in Mid-Lothian, in favour of the 
monks of Kelso, confirming their right to some property at 
Preston on his manor of Nether Cranston, reference is 
made to a piece of ground styled Abbotismedue (Abbot's 

Kelso Abbey also owned land in Lesmahagow parish, 
where a priory subject to its rule was founded by David I. 
in 1 144. John of Eltham, brother of Edward III., when 
invading Scotland in 1335, burned the priory and killed 
several people who had sought refuge within its sanctuary 
ground. On reaching Perth he met Edward, who slew 
him with his own hand on account of the cruelties com- 
mitted by him on his march. Wyntoun, who narrates the 
incident, says : — 

" There wes the wcngeawnce tane perfay 
Off the brynnyng off that Abbay."*^ 

Strictly speaking, the Lesmahagow foundation was a priory, 
not an abbey, though Wyntoun calls it such. The latter 
name has been used in Abbey-green, applied to the town 
of Lesmahagow. We find another trace of monastic in- 
fluence in the parish in the name of the place known as 
Monks' Stables. 

About the year 11 18 Earl David founded a monastery at 
Jedworth, now Jedburgh, by settling there some canons 

' History of Selkirkshire, vol. ii. pp. 2-6. 

^ Liber de Calchou, pp. 492, 494. ' O. S. A., vol. viii. p. 121, note. 

* Liber de Calchou, p. 199. 

^ The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 419. 


regular of the Order of St Augustine, whom he brought 
from the Abbey of St Quentin at Beauvais in France. The 
monastery was originally a priory, but about 1147 was raised 
to the dignity of an abbey. The burgh has a Canongate, 
and it once had a structure known as the Abbot's Tower, 
whose ruins were removed in the eighteenth century.^ 
There is a Monklaw in the parish. Abbotrule, styled Rule 
Abbatis in a charter of 1220, was an ancient Roxburghshire 
parish, divided in 1777 equally between the parishes of 
Hobkirk and Southdean. It was called Rule Hervey in the 
middle of the twelfth century, and received its later name 
from the fact that it was then granted to the monastery of 
Jedburgh, which appears to have retained it till the Reforma- 
tion.* There is reason to believe that the lands of Abbot- 
syke and Abbotshawes in Castletown parish were so called 
from their connection with the Jedburgh monastery. A 
convent of Franciscans or Grey Friars was planted at Jed- 
burgh in 1513; and though the building has perished, we 
find a trace of its occupants in the Friars'-gate, running 
from the Burnwynd port to the east end of the town, and 
containing a house known as Friars on the site of the 
convent. There are also the Friars' -gardens, still noted 
in modern times for the excellence of the crops produced 
by an ancient Longueville pear-tree.* 

Canonbie, in Dumfriesshire, means the Dwelling of the 
Canons. It derived its name from a priory of Augustinian 
canons founded in, or probably before, 1165, between the 
Liddel and the Esk. It was a cell of Jedburgh Abbey, and 
continued such till the Reformation. Grose says: "This 
monastery was frequently plundered and burned by the 
English, and the prior and canons thereof obliged to abandon 
their dwelling during the heat of the war.* Vestiges of the 
priory buildings remain, and in local topography we find 
Priorholm, Priorliden, and Priorhill. The Franciscans or 
Grey Friars came into Scotland in 1231, and soon afterwards 
founded a monastery on the banks of the Teviot, under the 
walls of Roxburgh. The Rev. James Morton says : " Their 

^ N. S. A., Roxburgh, p. 11. ' O. P. S., vol. i. pp. 549, 350. 

^ Jeffrey's History of Roxburghshire, vol. ii. p. 107. 
^ Antiquities of Scotland, vol. i. p. 134. 


church, an arch of which was standing in the memory of 
persons yet alive, was dedicated in honour of St Peter ; and 
their cemetery was dedicated on the 4th of May 1235 ^Y 
William de Bondington, Bishop of Glasgow." ^ When re- 
ferring to the later fortunes of the friary, Mr A. Jefifrey 
remarks: "About 1297 the friars appear to have been 
pensioners of the town, and had right to a part of the 
fishings in the Tweed. The site of the convent is now 
occupied by a farmhouse which still retains the name of 
Friars. Several years ago the occupant of the farm came 
upon the burying -ground of the Order. A few of the 
coffins were in a good state of preservation and ornamented 
with rude plates of iron." ^ Some ground in the neighbour- 
hood is still known as the Friars' Haugh. The brethren 
of the Greyfriars' Monastery in Dumfries, within whose 
church Robert Bruce stabbed the Red Comyn in 1306, 
continue to be remembered in the neighbouring Friars' 

The Kirkcudbrightshire parish of New Abbey recalls 
Sweetheart Abbey — a Cistercian monastery founded there in 
1275 by Devorgilla, mother of John Baliol, to receive the 
heart of her husband, John de Baliol, who had died six 
years before, — the sweet heart (dulce cor) being placed in 
an ivory casket within its walls. The parish contains the 
lands of Friars' Yard and a stream known as New Abbey 
Pow. Sweetheart Abbey was called New Abbey to dis- 
tinguish it from Dundrennan Abbey, founded 133 years 
earlier by Fergus, Lord of Galloway, and known in con- 
sequence as Old Abbey. The alternative name given to 
Rerwick parish, where the ruins of the latter are still to be 
seen, was Monkton in the seventeenth century, according 
to Symson,' and Monkland in the following century, accord- 
ing to Heron.^ The stream flowing past the ruins is called 
Abbey Burn. Another foundation by Fergus in the same 
district was the Praemonstratensian abbey of Tongueland, 
little of which now remains ; but we still have a trace of 
its influence in Priory Doach and Lairdmannoch, on the 

^ Monastic Annals of Teviotdale, p. 319. 

^ History of Roxburghshire, vol. ii. p. 75. 

' Description of Galloway, p. 14. ^ Journey, vol. ii. p. 199. 


Dee and the Tarff respectively. The former Sir Herbert 
Maxwell interprets as the Priory Weir or Cruive, and the 
latter conjecturally as the Garden of the Monks — the first 
syllable being perhaps Gaelic lubhghort, a garden (pronounced 
" lort *') ; 1 but the etymology is doubtful. In the adjoining 
parish of Kirkchrist, now united to Twynholm, a nunnery 
is believed to have existed. Its presence would account 
for the names of the two farms of High and Low Nunton 
in the south of the parish. Close to them is Nunmill.^ 

1 Gall. Top. 2 N. s, A., Kirkcudbright, p. 40. 

THE MONASTERY — continued. 

Dryburgb Abbey — Melrote Abbey — Friars^ Cane — St BathaxCs Nunnery — 
Eccles Nunnery — Lincluden Nunnery — St Martha* s Hospital^ Aberdour 
— Crawford Nunnery — Abbey Nunnery — Emmanuel Nunnery — Craii 
Priory — Bervie Monastery — DunfermTtne Abbey — Urqubart Priory — 
Grey friars* and Blackfriars* Monasteries^ Elgin — IVhitefriars* Mon^ 
astery^ LinRthgo^w — Redfriars* Monastery^ Dunbar — St Andrews 
Priory — Carthusian Monastery ^ Perth — Balmerino Abbey — Wlntefriars* 
Monastery^ Aberdeen — Arbroath Abbey — Fyvie Priory — Scone Abbey. 

The lovely ruins of Dryburgh Abbey take our thoughts back 
to the middle of the twelfth century, when a Praemonstra- 
tensian monastery was founded there either by David I. or 
by his High Constable, Hugo de Morville — for there is some 
doubt as to the real founder. In the ' Chronica de Mailros ' 
we read, "Anno 1150, Ordo Praemonstratensis venit ad Drue- 
burch, ad festiuitatem Sancti Martini " (November 10) ; and 
again, "Anno 1152, Conventus venit ad Driburgh die 
Sancte Lucie " (December 13) " et Rogerus factus est abbas 
primus."^ These statements evidently imply that though 
the monks, who came from Alnwick, were brought to Dry- 
burgh in 1 150, the monastic community was not organised 
till two years later. Sir William Dugdale remarks : " Dry- 
burgh was burnt and plundered by the English in 1323. 
King James VI. gave this abbey, with its revenue, to the 
Earl of Mar, who erected it into a temporal lordship, to- 
gether with Inchmahomac in Perthshire, in favour of Henry 
Erskine, the earl's third son by the Lady Mary Stewart." * 
In a charter of David, Commendator of Dryburgh, of date 

^ Pp. 74, 75. ' Mon. Anglic. 


1580, reference is made to Monkfurde (Monksford) in con- 
nection with fishings in the Tweed ; and in a " Rentall of 
the Lordship of Dryburght," circa 1620, there is mention of 
Nunland in Foulden parish, where some nuns are believed 
to have been settled.^ The canons of Dryburgh had prop- 
erty at Heytoun, in Roxburgh parish, including Prior's 
Land, mentioned in a seventeenth century Retour.* 

The parish of Melrose has many monastic associations. 
At Old Melrose (anciently Melros), about two miles from 
the town of Melrose, on a peninsula formed by a bend of 
the Tweed, a monastery was founded by St Aidan of Lindis- 
farne towards the middle of the seventh century. Its first 
abbot was Eata, who had Boisil under him as prior. The 
latter was succeeded by his pupil Cuthbert. The place was 
burned in 839 by Kenneth, King of the Scots, when invading 
the territory of the Angles, but seems to have been rebuilt 
some years later. Before the end of the eleventh century 
the monastery appears to have been ruined and deserted 
except for a short time between 1073 and 1075, when it 
was occupied by a few monks, including Turgot, afterwards 
Bishop of St Andrews and confessor to Queen Margaret. 
The monastery was succeeded by a chapel, dedicated to 
St Cuthbert.* Pilgrimages were made to the chapel in 
later times, and leading to it was a road called the Girth- 
gate — i.e., the Sanctuary Way. 

A new site was selected on the plain between the Eildons 
and the Tweed, when, in 1136, the foundations were laid 
of King David's Cistercian abbey of St Mary of Melrose. 
The building was consecrated ten years later, but was 
destroyed during the wars of succession, after the death of 
Alexander IIL in 1286. The rebuilding of the monastery, 
whose ruins still form such an attraction to Melrose, was 
largely due to the efforts of Robert Bruce, whose heart, 
after having been brought back from Spain, was buried 
within its walls. The extent of the abbey's possessions are 
thus indicated by Professor Innes : '' The monks had lands 
upon their own river, and round their monastery, and at 
Berwick, Peebles, Roxburgh, besides great districts in 

^ Liber de Dryburg^h, pp. 313, 368. ^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 494. 

' O. P. S., vol. i. pp. 279, 280. 


Teviotdale* They had, too, immense grants of pastures in 
Eskdale, Kyle and Carrick, Haddington, and the Lammer- 
moors, and were the growers of the finest wool shipped firom 
Scotland. In their chartulary we find everywhere strict 
rules for the protection of agricultufe, and evidence of the 
good husbandry of the abbey." ^ 

In the topography of Melrose parish we have such signifi- 
cant names as Cloister Close, Abbotsford, Priorswood, the 
Prior's Well, Monksford, the Monks' Well, and the Haly 
Wheel, — the last being a rapid in the Tweed. There is a 
tradition that, between the decline of the Old Melrose 
monastery and the building of King David's abbey, there 
was another monastic foundation planted mid-way between 
their respective sites, which gave the name of Red Abbey 
Stead to a field near the village of Newstead.* At the 
Reformation the abbey lands in the parish included, among 
others, Friercroft (Friarcroft) and Freirshaw (Friarwood). 
Among the possessions of the abbey elsewhere than at 
Melrose may be mentioned Monks' Tower and Monks' 
Croft at Hassendean, and the Munkland (Monkland) in 
Maybole parish, described by Abercrummie as "ane loo 
merkland of old extent which is an appendage of the Abbacy 
of Melrose."^ In Linton parish, Roxburghshire, are Prior 
Row and Priory -meadow, but it is not certain to what 
monastery the names point. 

The estate of Friars' Carse, in Dunscore parish, Dum- 
friesshire, was also among the possessions of Melrose Abbey, 
and had a cell dependent upon it. When referring to the 
building, Grose remarks : *' The old refectory had walls 
8 feet thick, and the chimney was 12 feet wide. This old 
building, having become ruinous, was pulled down in 1773 
to make way for the present house. Near the house is the 
Lough, which was the fish-pond of the friary, in the middle 
of which is a very curious artificial island, founded upon 
large piles and planks of oak, where the monks lodged their 
valuable effects when the English made an inroad into 
Strathnith." * Some antique stone figures placed in the 

* Legal Antiquities, pp. 167, 168. ' N. S. A., Roxburgh, p. 58. 
' Description of Carrick in Pitcaim's * History of the Kennedys,* p. 167. 

* Antiquities of Scotland, vol. i. p. Z49. 


avenue leading to the mansion-house are thought to have 
adorned the mediaeval building. 

In the Lammermoor district of Berwickshire were the 
two pre - Reformation parishes of Strafontane and St 
Bathans, the latter called after Baithene, St Columba's 
cousin and successor as Abbot of lona. After the Refor- 
mation they were united under the name of Abbey St 
Bathans, the first part of the name referring to a convent 
founded towards the end of the twelfth century by Ada, 
daughter of William the Lion and wife of the Earl of 
March, for Cistercian nuns from Berwick. The convent 
stood between the church and the Whitadder, but the 
buildings were removed many years ago. The convent 
gardens, which lay to the south and east of the church, 
were known as the Precincts -yards. Also to the east of 
the church is St Bathan's Well, formerly frequented for its 
supposed miraculous powers of healing, and locally believed 
never to freeze.^ The writer of the parish sketch in the 
*N. S. A.** observes: "It is a favourite article of belief 
in this quarter that a subterranean passage exists leading 
from the nunnery of St Bathans below the Whitadder to 
the church of Strafontane, by which the nuns went, unseen, 
to be confessed by the clergy there." The convent, besides 
giving name to the parish, is still remembered in the emi- 
nence known as Abbey Hill. 

A Cistercian nunnery dedicated to the Virgin was founded 
by Cospatrick, Earl of Dunbar, in or about 1155, at Eccles, 
in the same shire. It originated the names of Nunbank and 
Nunmoss in Fawside, and of Nunmyre in the lands of Tod- 
rig, as well as of certain Nuncrofts in the same district.' In 
1545 the nunnery, like the town, was burned by the Earl 
of Hertford during his invasion of Scotland, and was not 

About the same time as the foundation of the nunnery at 
Eccles, a colony of Benedictine nuns was settled at Lin- 
cluden, near Dumfries, by Uchtred, second son of Fergus, 
Lord of Galloway. The nuns remained in possession till 
towards the end of the fourteenth century, when, on ac- 
count of certain irregularities, they were expelled by 

^ N. S. A., Berwick, p. 109. * Ibid., p. no. ' R. M. S. 


Archibald the Grim, Earl of Douglas, and the establish- 
ment was converted into a collegiate church for a provost 
and twelve canons. The ivy-clad ruins of the college are 
picturesquely situated close to the junction of the Cluden 
and the Nith. The earlier occupants of the place are re- 
called by such names as Nuniield and Nun wood in the 
neighbourhood of Lincluden, and by Nunland in Lochrutton 
parish, where the church belonged to the nunnery.^ Nun- 
land and Nunholme, Mr Macdowall informs us, are men- 
tioned in " The Register Buik of the Fewis maid be the 
College Kirk of Lincluden, 1547-64."* 

At Aberdour, in Fife, was a spring, styled in 1479 "le 
pilgramys well," resorted to, as the name implies, by many 
a pilgrim anxious for the restoration of health. To accom- 
modate these, a charitable institution, dedicated to St Martha, 
was founded by James, Earl of Morton, and in i486 was 
placed under the charge of four claresses or nuns of St 
Francis. Regarding these nuns Cardonnell remarks: "The 
Nuns who followed the rule of St Francis were established 
by St Clare, from whom they took their name. St Clare 
was born at Assist in Italy, and was by St Francis him- 
self admitted into the Order in 12 12. A number of 
ladies followed her example, for whom St Francis wrote 
a particular Rule, full of rigour and great austerities."* 
Eight acres near Aberdour were bestowed on St Martha's 
Hospital, and were in consequence known as the Sister- 
Lands. In 1560 the establishment came to an end ; and 
the Sister-Lands, with the nunnery and its garden, passed 
into lay hands.* The name Sisterlands survived, and was 
applied in modern times to the field adjacent to the manse 

A place on the east bank of the Daer, in Crawford parish, 
Lanarkshire, is called the Nunnery; but there is no tradition 
regarding the origin of the name.* We know more about 
Abbey, a village on the Tyne near Haddington. A Cistercian 

' Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 359. ^ Chroiucles of Lincluden, p. 106. 

' Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland, p. 22. 

* Vide notice of the Hospital of St Martha at Aberdour, Fife, by the Rev. 
W. Ross, in 'P. S. A Scot.,' vol. iii. pp. 214-220. 

• O. S. A., vol. iv. p. 334. • O. P. S., vol. t. p. 166. 


nunnery was founded there in 1178 by Ada, mother of Mal- 
colm IV. and William the Lion. Major, who was bom near 
Haddington, and must have known the convent well, 
describes it as " fair and well-endowed.**^ Fordun mentions 
a tradition that during a great flood in the river in the year 
1358, when the buildings seemed likely to be swept away, the 
Virgin, to whom the convent was dedicated, intervened in its 
behalf. There are now no remains of the structure, but the 
name of the village keeps its memory alive. In 1471 the 
prioress and her nuns took legal proceedings against the 
lairds of Yester and Mackerston, who had seized their lands 
of Nunhopes, with the result that restitution was made to 
the convent.* The estate of Huntingdon, near Haddington, 
was formerly called Nunside ; and there is still Nungate, a 
suburb of the town, lying to the east of the river — i,e,, the 
gate or way taken by the nuns when going to and from 
their convent. 

The nunnery had lands in Garvald parish, where, about 
the middle of the fifteenth century, a] fortalice known as 
Nunraw was erected. Mr D. Croal remarks: " It was a stout 
fabric, built not so much for ornament as for protection to 
the nuns and their valuables. The massive height and 
breadth of the main walls, with their narrow slits of windows, 
were relieved by the graceful towers that rose at intervals, 
and by the bold masonry of the corbels and gargoyles that 
ornamented the battlements."' Though altered in later 
times, the house, which stands on the edge of a deep glen, 
where flows the Nunraw Burn, still retains many mediaeval 
features. Some structural alterations, carried out about the 
middle of last century, brought to light the painted ceiling 
of the refectory, bearing, along with allegorical figures, the 
arms of the Kings of Scotland, England, Navarre, Arra- 
gon, Egypt, &c. Chalmers says : " In February 1547-48 
Elizabeth Hepburn, the prioress, appeared before the regent 
and his council, and engaged to keep the fortlet of Nunraw 
from their old enemies, or to cause it to be razed." * 

In Muiravonside parish, Stirlingshire, is Manuel Junction, 
on the North British Railway, so called from Emmanuel 

^ History of Greater Britain, p. 165. * Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 504. 

* Sketches of East Lothian, p. 45. * Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 504. 


Priory — a Cistercian nunnery built beside the Avon by 
Malcolm IV. about 1156. Regarding this nunnery Grose 
remarks : " Besides the endowments bestowed by the royal 
founder, it received considerable donations from others at 
different periods. King William, surnamed the Lion, made 
a grant of the tenth of all his revenues in the shire and 
borough of Linlithgow, both money and victuals. Alex- 
ander IL made a donation of the mills of Linlithgow with 
all their sequels and appurtenances ; and Roger de Avenel 
bestowed on the holy sisters a chalder of wheat, to be paid 
by him and his heirs, out of his barns of Abercorn, at 
Christmas yearly. Of this nunnery little remains except the 
west end of the church. This fragment contains an arched 
door or gateway, with three small Gothic windows over it, 
and over these a circular one. Part of the south wall of the 
church was standing till the beginning of the year 1788, 
when, the river having risen to an unusual height, it was 
swept away by the violence of the waters with part of the 
bank used as a cemetery."^ 

Crail, in Fife, had a priory dedicated to St Rufus, who is 
probably to be identified with St Maelrubha. Nothing is 
known regarding the date of its foundation; but what is 
described as a ruinous gable with Gothic windows was visible 
till about one hundred years ago, when it was thrown down 
by the sea. The ruin was known as the Prior Walls. Close 
to its site are a field and a spring, still known respectively as 
the Prior's Croft and the Briery (or Priory) Well.* We are 
told that charters connected with feus in the burgh of Bervie, 
in Kincardineshire, contain names such as Friars Dubbs, in- 
dicating former monastic associations. Near Friars Dubbs 
an ancient cemetery was discovered many years ago.* Such 
names point to a Carmelite or White Friars' monastery, 
known to have once stood close to Bervie. We get a 
glimpse of the monastery in an Act of the Scottish Parlia- 
ment of date 1587, in which reference is made to certain 
possessions ''qlkis pertenit to the freris carmelitane sum- 
tyme situat beside the bur'- of Inuerbervie." * 

^ Antiquities of Scotland, vol. ii. pp. 67, 68. 

* N. S. A., Fife, p. 964. ^ N. S. A., Kincardine, p. 7. 

* Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 489. 


The Benedictine abbey of Dunfermline was established by 
David I. in 1128 on the basis of a religious foundation by 
Queen Margaret dedicated to the Holy Trinity.^ It has left 
its impress on topography in Abbey Parks, an estate in the 
neighbourhood of the burgh, and Abbot's Hall, a parish on 
the coast. The name of the latter is thus explained in the 
* O. S. A.' : * "It is said that an abbot of Dunfermline built 
a summer-house near the place where the church of Abbot's 
Hall now stands, and called it the Hall of the Abbot." 
The Rev. J. W. Taylor says : " The site of the Hall of the 
Abbot is known to have been where the Raith gardens are 
now, and these gardens were wont to be generally called 
the Abbotshall gardens."^ An ancient yew is believed to 
mark the spot where the mansion stood. Little Monkton, 
and Monkton Hall at Musselburgh, were also connected with 
Dunfermline Abbey. Urquhart Priory, in Elginshire, — 
another of David's foundations, — was a cell of Dunfermline. 
Its ruins were removed about the middle of the seventeenth 
century, but it is still remembered in the name of Abbey 
Well, close to the site of the building. 

The Franciscan or Greyfriars' monastery at Elgin, whose 
church was restored in 1898 by the late Marquess of Bute, 
was founded by Alexander II., and gave name to the 
property known as the Greyfriars. Writing towards the end 
of the eighteenth century, Cordiner says : " The dwellings, 
belonging to a convent of Franciscan friars in Elgin, are 
many of them still habitable, and afford spacious apartments ; 
and the remains of the adjoining church are highly orna- 
mental, in a noble Gothic stile." ^ Alexander II. also estab- 
lished a colony of Dominican or Black Friars at Elgin. Their 
house stood on the low ground between Lady Hill and the 
Lossie ; and although the building has entirely disappeared, 
its site continues to be known as the Black Friars' Haugh. 

Friars Brae at Linlithgow is a rising-ground where once 
stood a Carmelite or Whitefriars' monastery, dating from 
1290. Not far off is a spring known as the Friars' Well. 
The church of Irvine, in Ayrshire, belonged to the abbey 

^ Keg. de Dunfermeiyn, Pref., p. xi. ' Vol. iv. p. 185. 

' Historical Antiquities of Fife, vol. ii. p. 54. 
^ Remarkable Ruins, &c.y vol. i. 



of Kilwinning; but Friars' Ford, mentioned in an Irvine 
charter of date 1477, points rather to the White Friars, 
who were settled in the burgh probably in the fourteenth 
century.^ Friar's Croft at Dunbar, in East Lothian, repre- 
sents the site of a Trinity or Redfriars' monastery, founded 
there by Patrick, fifth Earl of Dunbar. Regarding this 
monastery Chalmers remarks: **In 1218, Patrick, Earl of 
Dunbar, founded a house of Red or Trinity Friars at Dun- 
bar; and the lands, which piety or zeal had given them, 
were transferred, after the Reformation, to George Home 
of Friarsland." * The priory of St Andrews was founded in 
1144 for Augustinian canons. It ''soon took its place as 
the first in rank of the religious houses of Scotland ; and 
its prior, with the ring and mitre of a bishop, had rank 
and place in Parliament above the abbots and all other 
prelates of the regular Church."* The influence of the 
priory on topography is to be traced in the name of 
"freremedev" (friar-meadow), mentioned in an indenture, 
dated 1405, of certain lands feued to Thomas, Archdeacon of 
St Andrews.* Friarton, in Forgan parish, seems also to have 
been connected with the priory of St Andrews. The ancient 
church of the parish was among the possessions of the latter. 
The lands of Friarton at Perth belonged to the Carthusian 
monastery founded in the Fair City by James I. in 1429. 
They have given name to the hamlet of Friarton, close to 
which, at a rapid bend of the Tay, is a deep pool known as 
the Friarton Hole,^ where, according to tradition, a large 
bell, which was being landed at the pier in pre-Reformation 
times, fell into the water and was never recovered. The 
Dominican or Blackfriars' monastery, founded at Perth in 
1 23 1, was represented in local topography by the Black- 
friars' Wynd and the Blackfriars' Croft. The latter lay 
to the south of the lands of Balhousie, and was at one 
time a farm, with fields of grass and corn, but is now 
covered with houses.® 

' Irvine Charters, vol. i. p. 151. ^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 508, 

' Cosmo Innes's Scotch Leg'al Antiquities, pp. 163, 164. 

^ Reg. Prior. S. Andree, p. 422. 

^ Fittis's Eccles. Annals of Perth, pp. 42, 249. 

* The Blackfriars of Perth, Introd., pp. xxiii, xxix. 


In a charter of 147 1 we read of the lands of Freretoune, 
at Balmerino in Fife.^ These were connected with the 
Cistercian abbey of St Mary and St Edward the Confessor, 
founded in 1227 by Ermengarda, widow of William the 
Lion, who had previously visited the place on more than 
one occasion, and had derived benefit to her health from 
her residence there. Though the erection of the monastery 
was due to her^ its foundation charter runs in the name 
of her son, Alexander II. The abbey was burned by the 
English under Admiral Wyndham on Christmas night i547. 
The parish has both a Prior's Well and a Monk's Well. 
Beyond the parish we find a trace of the influence of the 
monastery — ^viz., at Barry in Forfarshire. The Rev. Dr 
Campbell remarks : " In 1552 a feu-charter of certain lands 
at Barry was given to Robert Forrester, and the reddendo 
included the furnishing a house to the abbot and his factors 
when they went thither to keep their courts. There was 
there also a piece of ground called the Abbots' Horse- 
ward." * In the *Taxt Roll of the Abbacye of Balmerinoch,* 
of date 1617, we find a Friermylne among the possessions 
of the monastery. 

Aberdeen had a farm of Friartoun at Rubislaw, mentioned 
in a charter of 1438-39. It was probably connected either 
with the Blackfriars' or the Whitefriars' monastery. The 
former, founded by Alexander II. in 1222, is believed to 
have stood mid-way between the School-hill and Gordon's 
Hospital. It was demolished in 1560, and various houses 
were built out of its ruins ; but its memory survives in the 
name of Blackfriars' Street. The Whitefriars* monastery, 
established in 1350, occupied a site on the south side of 
the Green, near what is now Carmelite Street.^ The mon- 
astery owned the Friar's Glen in Fordoun parish, Kincar- 
dineshire. Regarding it Jervise says: *'In 1402 Eraser of 
Frendraught granted the property to the Carmelite or 
White Friars of Aberdeen, who continued to draw the 
revenues of it down to the Reformation. Then the glen 
passed to the Earl Marischal, who granted it to the 
Marischal College of Aberdeen, from which it passed by 

^ Reg. Mag. Sig. ^ Balmerino and Its Abbey, p. 94, note. 

' The Book of Bon Accord, pp. 26, 27, 125. 


purchase more than half a century ago to the proprietor of 
Drumtochty." * 

Forty -nine years before Ermengarda's foundation at 
Balmerino, referred to above, her husband had founded the 
great Abbey of Arbroath, dedicated to the Virgin and St 
Thomas i Becket. When speaking of the First Pointed 
period of architecture in Scotland, Dr Joseph Robertson 
observes: **Of the conventual churches of this age the 
grandest undoubtedly was that which the fears or the 
devotion of the King of Scots reared on the shore of Angus 
in honour of St Thomas k Becket. It was founded in 1178, 
—within seven years of the martyrdom of the heroic primate, 
— ^was so far built in 1214 as to receive the tomb of its 
royal founder, and was consecrated in presence of his son 
m 1233. It now exists only in ghastly fragments, which, 
seen from sea, have an imposing look, but viewed closely 
serve for little more than to denote the style and great size 
of the fabric." 2 The monastery has left a trace of itself 
in the names of Abbot's Harbour, Abbey-green, and Abbey 
parish. Other traces in local topography are indicated by 
Mr David Miller,* including such names as Abbey Path; 
Lordburn (thought to be the Lord Abbot's Burn); Ward- 
dykes, from the ward or enclosure belonging to the abbot ; 
Barn -green, where the thrashing barns of the monastery 
stood; Fisher Acre, belonging to the person who supplied 
the convent with fish; and Punderlaw, the hill of the 
Punder or Poinder, who had charge of the woods of the 
monastery, and derived his name from having to poind or 
impound strayed cattle. Mr Miller also mentions Almorj' 
Street and Almory Close, connected with the alms given 
to the poor, as well as the Cellarer's Croft, Granitor's Croft, 
and Smithy Croft, the last two recalling respectively the 
Granitor, who had charge of the grain and the granaries, 
and the smith or master of works {MagisUr Fabrice) who had 
to attend to the repair of the monastery buildings. 

Among the fishings belonging to Arbroath Abbey was a 
net fishing in the North Esk called St Thomas, in honour 

^ Memorials, vol. i. p. 145. 

" Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 43. 

• Arbroath and Its Abbey, pp. 58, 163, 173-177. 


of its patron saint. In an abbey charter of 1466 reference 
is made to some land in the district of Futtie, at Aberdeen, 
belonging to the monastery, and then styled Abbatis Hal 
(Abbot's Hall).^ On the other side of the Dee, in Nigg 
parish, is the farm of Abbots- Walls, formerly styled Abbot's 
Hall. Regarding it Jervise remarks: ''It is said that the 
abbots of Arbroath had a residence upon the haugh on the 
south side of the Dee. All trace of the old building is 
gone; but Abbots' Walls is still the name of a farm near 
Kincorth. It is called 'Abbots' hall' in old titles; and in 
1592, when Duncan Forbes of Monymusk had a feu of lands 
in and around Torry, 'the yairdis of the maner place' of 
Abbots-hall are specially mentioned." * " Marjory, Countess 
of Buchan, bestowed the church of Turriff on the abbey of 
Arbroath about 12 14, but she seems to have revoked her 
gift soon after, for her son. Earl William, in 1273 gave the 
church-lands of Turriff to the almshouse which he founded 
there. In the foundation charter the boundary of these 
lands is said to run 'vsque ad uiam monachorum ' — i.e., 
the monks' gate or way, a place which, Jervise tells us, is 
still j>ointed out at Turriff." * The monks in this case were 
probably those connected with a Celtic monastery at Turriff, 
which survived till the twelfth century, but seems to have 
come to an end before the date of Earl William's charter. 
According to the 'N. S. A.,'* some houses at Turriff are 
known as Abbey- Land. St Mary's Priory, founded in 1179 
at F5rvie, in the same shire, by Fergus, Earl of Buchan, 
was a dependency of Arbroath. The memory of its Tyron- 
ensian monks survives in the name of Monkshill, an estate 
in the parish mentioned in an Arbroath Abbey charter of 

The monastery of Scone, which stood on the site of the 

present palace of Scone, owed its erection in 11 14 to 

^ In the year mentioned, Malcolm, Abbot of Arbroath, feued to William 
Lutar, burgess of Aberdeen, and Marjory his wife, '* illam vastam terram 
suam vulgariter nuncupatam ly Abbatis Hal jacentem in fotino infra burgtim 
de Abirden." — * Liber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc,' vol. ii. p. 151. 

^ Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 18. 

' Ibid., vol. ii. p. 219, and Collect. Aberdeen and Banff, p. 467. 

* Aberdeen, p. 998. 

^ Liber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc, vol. ii. p. 373. 


Alexander L, who settled there a band of Augustinian canons 
brought by him from St Oswald's Priory, near Pontefract in 
Yorkshire. Scone was at first a priory, but was raised to 
the dignity of an abbey when Robert, Prior of Restennet, 
became its head in 1162. Alexander's monastery succeeded 
a Culdee foundation whose church was dedicated to the 
Holy Trinity, The new foundation was placed under the 
patronage of the Virgin, St Michael, St John, St Lawrence, 
and St Augustine. The last of these was remembered in 
the name of Sanct Augustenis-Land (St Augustine's land), 
mentioned in a charter of 1585.^ Among other possessions 
of the monastery were lands known as Abbotiscroft and 
Friertoun respectively.* The church of Echt, in Aberdeen- 
shire, was granted to Scone Abbey about 1220 ; and in the 
parish is Monecht, anciently Monksecht.^ It is interesting 
to find a monastery on the banks of the Tay possessing a 
link with the far North. The abbot of Scone was, ex officio, 
one of the prebendaries of Dornoch Cathedral in Suther- 
land ; and his prebend was the church of Kildonan, in the 
same county. The writer of the article on Kildonan parish 
in the* N. S. A.'* says: "The abbots of Scone continued 
in charge of this church until the Reformation; and the 
foundation of Tea'n Abb, or the Abbot's House, is still seen 
to the west of the manse, while the figure of a human head, 
rudely carved in stone, and called the Abbot's Head, is 
preserved in the garden wall of the manse." 

1 R. M. S., 1580-93, p. 309. 

* Liber Ecclesie de Scon, Pref., pp. ix, x ; and pp. 227, 229. 

' Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. i. pp. 65, 66. * Sutherland, p. 148. 



Coupar" Angus Abbey — Cambuskameth Abbey — Inchaffray Abbey — Deer 
Abbey — Closters — Kilmifuter — Kinloss Abbey — Grange — Newbnttle 
Abhey — Priories of Pluscarden^ Beauly^ and Ardchattan — St Catherine's 
Nunnery y EeRnburgh — Holyrood Abbey, 

St Mary's Cistercian abbey of Coupar-Angus was founded 
by Malcolm IV. in 1164. Dr Rogers remarks: " The abbey 
occupied the centre of a military intrenchment — most prob- 
ably of a Roman camp, — but its original form and extent 
cannot be traced. The only portion which remains is an 
archway at the south-west corner, which is supposed to 
have formed part of the porter's lodge." ^ Among the 
large possessions of the abbey was almost the whole of 
Bendochy parish, where we find Cupar-Grange, Abbey Mill, 
Monk Mire, and Monk Cally, telling of monastic ownership ; 
while a track, leading to the abbey from the wood of 
Campsie, in Cargill parish, came to be known as the Abbey 
Road, for along it was carried fuel for the monastery.^ 
The Cistercian monastery of Cambuskenneth, otherwise 
styled St Mary's Abbey of Stirling, had David I. as its 
founder in 1147. Little more than its detached tower of 
four stories now remains to tell of the splendid monastic 
pile; but topography keeps alive its memory in the name 
of the neighbouring picturesque height of Abbey Craig, 
where stands the Wallace Monument as a memorial of the 
hero who won for Scotland the battle of Stirling Bridge on 
I2th September 1297. In 1531 the abbot of Cambuskenneth 

^ Register of Cupar Abbey, vol. i., Pref., p. xxi. 

' N. S. A., Perth, p. 1143, and Jervise's Memorials, vol. ii. pp. J03, 204. 


and some of his tenants who had fishings on the Forth sued 
certain baillies of Stirling for alleged " wrangus spoilatioun 
of cobillis and nettis/* In the summons issued, mention 
is made of the " convent lands of Abbotishude, liand within 
the schirefdome of Clakmannane." ^ 

The abbey of Inchaffray, in Madderty parish, was founded 
before 1198 by Gilbert, Earl of Stratheam, and his wife 
Matildis, and was dedicated to the Virgin and St John the 
Evangelist. Mauritius, its abbot, was present at the battle 
of Bannockburn, and sought to stir the patriotic zeal of the 
Scottish army. Its abbots used to take refuge in troublous 
times on a small island in Loch Etive, still known in 
consequence as Elinanabb (anglicised Abbot's Isle).^ In a 
Taxed Roll of the Lordship of Inchaifray, of date 1630, we 
read of " the croft of Gorthie callit the Abbotis croft, and 
the croft of Arbeny callit Abbottis Croft " ; and in another 
Inchaffray charter, of date 1558, we find a " priouris medo " 
(Prior's Meadow); while in a third (undated) is "Abbottis 
Mos of Southertoun." ' The monastery had some land in 
Crieff parish, where we find Milnab, which Sir Herbert 
Maxwell interprets as the Abbot's Hill, the prefix being 
Gaelic tneall, a hill or lump; but the name, written in a 
charter of 1595-96 Mylneab, is more probably the Abbot's 
Mill. The writer of the parish article in the 'N. S. A.'* 
remarks in 1838 : ** Milnab, or Mill of the Abbot, is now 
greatly reduced both in size and consequence from what 
it was in former days. In the year 1677 mention is made 
of the lands and barony which contained the town, mill, 
and mill-lands of Milnab. There was a religious house 
connected with Inchaffray near the mill, and the last 
generation but one remembered the ruins of it." 

Deer, in Buchan, had monastic associations from an early 
date. About the year 580 a Columban monastery, with 
St Drostan at its head, was founded there, and retained its 
Celtic character till the twelfth century. According to a 
story in the * Book of Deer,' Columba along with Drostan 
and other clerics came to a certain town belonging to the 
Mormaer of Buchan, which the latter refused to give to 

^ Cambuskenneth Chartulary, p. 291. ' N. S. A., Argyll, p- 512. 

^ Liber Insule Missarum, pp. 96, 105, 122. * Perth, p. 499, note. 


them for their religious establishment. The Mormaer's 
son was seized with illness, but was restored to health by 
the prayers of the clerics, with the result that the town was 
handed over to them, and there the monastery was founded. 
Before Columba Idft the district he invested Drostan with 
full authority over the newly founded settlement. "After 
that Columcille gave to Drostan that town and blessed it, 
and left as his word that * whosoever should come against 
it, let him not be many-yeared, or victorious.' Drostan's 
tears came on parting with Columcille. Said Columcille, 
' Let Dear be its name henceforward.' " 

Regarding the etymology of Deer, Dr John Stuart 
observes : " It seems in every way probable that the Deer 
of Buchan took its name from the surrounding oak-woods. 
The parish is believed to have been at one time covered 
with wood, and the names of such places as Aikiehill and 
Aikiebrae still preserve the recollection of the oaks which 
once grew there." Oak is darach in Gaelic and dair in 
Irish. Tear is deur or diar in Gaelic and diar or deor in 
Irish. The successor of St Drostan's monastery — the 
Cistercian abbey of Deer — was founded in 1219 by William, 
Earl of Buchan, on a site about two miles to the west of 
the spot where the earlier establishment is believed to have 
stood.^ There is still an Abbey Well at Deer. In Udny 
parish are Cloisterseat and Monkshill. These, the Rev. 
Dr Temple thinks, point to a local religious establishment 
once connected with the Abbey at Deer.* 

On the lands of Murkle, in Olrick parish, Caithness, is 
the burn of Closters, believed to have derived its name from 
a neighbouring nunnery, whose site continued to be known 
as the Glosters. In connection with his visit to the north 
of Scotland in 1769, Pennant says : " I was told by the late 
Earl of Cathness that there was a nunnery in antient times 
near his seat at Murkil. The country people call the place 
the Glosters ; but no vestige of the building is extant ex- 
cepting the remains of the garden wall, which enclosed a 
rich spot of ground." * Kilminster, giving name to a loch 
and a moss in Wick parish, was the property of the Bishops 

^ The Book of Deer, pp. 5, 10, 48. 

* Thanage of Fcrmartyn, p. 476. ' Tour, vol. i. p. 330. 


of Caithness. In the middle of Kilminster Moss are the 
ruins of St Duthac's chapel, popularly known as the Kirk 
of Moss. Kilminster, otherwise written Kilminister and 
Kilmister and locally pronounced Kilmster, suggests at 
first sight some connection with a monastery; but its 
etymology is uncertain.^ 

When the Earl of Buchan's monastery was founded at 
Deer, as indicated above, it was colonised from the abbey 
of Kinloss in Elginshire, whose monks had come, some 
seventy years earlier, from Melrose. Kinloss Abbey was 
founded by David I. in 1151, and dedicated to the Virgin, 
who, according to one legend, appeared to the king in a 
dream when asleep, and told him to build a church in her 
honour, on the spot where he was then sleeping. According 
to another legend, the site of the monastery was chosen 
on account of a miraculous blossoming of flowers on the 
tomb of King Duffus. Cordiner says that the place was in 
consequence originally styled Templum florum.* An attempt 
— but not a successful one — has been made to extract Kin- 
floss out of Kinloss. Camden says that Kinloss ''was called 
by some Kill-floss, from the flowers that sprung up there 
miraculously on the discovery of the body of King Duff, 
murdered and concealed there."* In connection with his 
visit to the place. Pennant says: "The prior's chamber, 
two semicircular arches, the pillars, the couples of several 
of the roofs, afford specimens of the most beautiful Gothic 
architecture in all the elegance of simplicity, without any 
of its fantastic ornaments. Near the abby is an orchard 
of apple- and pear-trees, at least coeval with the last 
monks; numbers lie prostrate; their venerable branches 
seem to have taken fresh roots, and were loaden with fruit, 
beyond what could be expected from their antique look."* 
The monastery had large possessions, and its abbots were 
mitred. The buildings suffered much in the middle of the 
seventeenth century, quantities of stones having been then 
removed to Inverness to aid in the construction of Crom- 
well's citadel. 

' O. p. S., vol. ii. p. 773. 

' Antiquities and Scenery of the North of Scotland, p. 60. 

' Britannia, vol. iv. p. 174. * Tour, vol. i. pp. 14S, 149. 


Among the lands owned by Kinloss Abbey was the barony 
of Glenisla in BanfiFshire, extending from the Knock to the 
Balloch, granted by King William the Lion, who reigned 
from 1165 to 1214. I^r William Cramond mentions that 
the original charter is still in the possession of the Duke 
of Fife. This barony was used by the monks as a grange 
or farm. Their farmhouse is believed to have stood on a 
rising ground overlooking the haughs of the Isla. The 
memory of the ancient barony is still kept alive in the name 
of the parish of Grange. After referring to the localities 
mentioned in King William's charter, Dr Cramond remarks : 
''In passing these places and seeing the ploughman at 
work, I often wonder if he reflects that these fields have 
been in cultivation since the inhabitants of this parish 
spoke only Gaelic, and that for 700 years at least they have 
been constantly ploughed and sown and reaped." ^ It may 
be remarked in passing that the Grange at Edinburgh was 
connected not with a monastery but with the collegiate 
church of St Giles.* The Grange bum in Stirlingshire, 
which gives name to the port of Grangemouth, recalls a 
Grange belonging to the monks of Newbattle. In its 
neighbourhood are Abbotsgrange and Abbotshaugh, both 
pointing to the head of that monastery. Writing in 1817, 
Nimmo, in reference to the former, says : " Adam de Morham 
granted to the same Monastery (Newbattle) a tract of land 
called the Grange of Hereford, lying upon the south side of 
the Carron. It is now known as Abbot's Grange, and is 
included in the newly erected parish of Polmont. Here the 
abbot had a country seat, some remains of which, together 
with those of the garden, are still to be seen." • Mention 
should also be made of the Abbotslands of Kerse in the same 
district, named in the 'Exchequer Rolls of Scotland,'* in 
connection with the annual rent paid from their fermes in 
the year 1524-25, " de terris vocatis Abbatislandis de Kers 
cum suis pertinentiis jacentibus infra vicecomitatum de 

Preston -Grange, in East Lothian, was another of the 
farms belonging to the same monastery. Chalmers re- 

1 The Parish of Grange, pp. 4, 5. " Vide Appendix, C. 

8 History of Stirlingshire, p. 157. * Vol. xv. p. 627. 


marks : " Robert de Quincey granted to the monks of New- 
botle, about the year 1184, the lands of Preston, where they 
settled an agricultural establishment, which was afterward 
called Preston -Grange, with common of pasture, in the 
manor of Tranent, for ten sheep, and for oxen sufficient to 
cultivate their grange; he also gave them six acres of 
meadow in his manor of Tranent, and twenty cart-loads 
of peats from the peatary of his lordship, with the liberty of 
taking wood for fuel for the use of their grange, where the 
men of his manor could take the same." ^ 

The monastery in question — ^viz., the Cistercian abbey of 
Newbattle, on the South Esk in Mid-Lothian — ^was founded 
by David I. in 1140 or 1141. Its topographical features are 
thus described by Cosmo Innes : '* The situation of New- 
battle is of that kind which the Cistercians most of all 
affected. The South Esk, escaped from the green hills of 
Temple and the woody ravines of Dalhousie, widens its 
valley a little to give room for a long range of fair, level 
haughs. At the very head of these meadows, and close to 
the brook, the abbey stands. Behind, to the north, are the 
remains of the ancient monkish village, once occupied by 
the hinds and shepherds of the convent, but separated from 
the abbey gardens by a massive stone wall, ascribed to the 
time and the personal care of William the Lion, which still 
forms the boundary of the park on that side." * Newbattle, 
or Newbottle as it was formerly called, means New Build- 
ing ; but, like Newburgh already mentioned, it has a name 
not now in harmony with its age. It appears to have been 
called Newbottle to distinguish it from Elbottle — i.e., Old 
Building — in Dirleton parish, East Lothian, where there 
was anciently a convent forming a cell of the Cistercian 
nunnery at Berwick -on -Tweed. Newbottle is found also 
in England. Northamptonshire has a parish of Newbottle, 
and the county of Durham a township of the same name. 
The monks of Newbattle have a place in the annals of 
coal-mining in Scotland, as they were probably the first to 
dig coal from surface pits before deep shafts began to be 
sunk.^ Mark Ker, the last abbot and first commendator 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 486. * Cosmo Innes's Legal Antiquities, p. 168. 

' Reg. de Neubotle, Pref., p. xiii. 


of Newbattle, was the ancestor of the present Marquess of 
Lothian, whose mansion occupies the site of the abbey, and 
includes some portions of the mediaeval building. In 
Newbattle parish is a spring appropriately styled Monks' 

The monastery possessed lands in the district of Mount 
Lothian, in Penicuik parish, which came to be known in 
consequence as Monk's Lothian or Monk-Lowden.^ Its 
church belonged to Holyrood Abbey, but the name of 
Monk's Lothian was probably due to its Newbattle owner- 
ship. In the same district we find Monks'-burn, Monks*- 
haugh, and Monks'-ridge. The last is beside an old track 
over the Pentland Hills known as the Monks' Road.* In a 
Newbattle charter of 1500 reference is made to certain lands 
at West Binning in Linlithgowshire, then known as Abbotis- 

Regarding Monkland in Lanarkshire, Mr Robert Ren- 
wick remarks: ''The name Munkland appears so early as 
1323 as a designation for a familiar portion of the country- 
side east of Glasgow, which then and for long afterwards 
belonged to the monks of Newbattle Abbey."* This dis- 
trict is represented by the parishes of Old and New Monk- 
land. The abbey had property in Crawford parish, and 
part of the parish came in consequence to be called Friar 
Moor. In old charters the name commonly appears as 
Fremure, a contraction for Freremure. 

The monks of Vallis-caulium, who had been settled in 
1 193 between Dijon and Autun in Burgundy, were intro- 
duced into Scotland in 1230 by William Malvoisin, Bishop 
of St Andrews. They had here three priories — ^viz., Plus- 
carden in Moray, Beaulieu in Inverness -shire, and Ard- 
chattan in Argyll, — all founded in or about the year just 
mentioned. Pluscarden, dedicated to St Andrew conjointly 
with the Virgin and St John, was styled Vallis Sti. Andreae ; 
and connected with it was Grangehill, where the monks 
had a cell.^ The appearance of the priory towards the end 
of the eighteenth century is thus described by Cordiner: 

^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 811. ^ O. S. A., vol. x. p. 420, note. 

* Reg*, de Neubotle, p. 281. * Glasg'ow Protocols, vol. ii. 

' Pennant's Tour, vol. i. p. 284. 


" The stately remains of the numerous buildings adjoining 
to the church stretch down a declivity at the opening of 
the valley, with a fine exposure to the sun, and protected 
from the north by a lofty hill. The walls, inclosing a very 
fertile field and forming an ample square, still mark, with 
the hoary solemnity of moss-grown ruins, those boundaries, 
without which none but the dignified clergy had a right to 
go."^ Beaulieu, otherwise styled Prioratus de Bello-loco, 
is still remembered in the name of Beauly, and Ardchattan 
priory survives in the estate of the same name.* 

In conclusion, two monasteries should be mentioned which 
have left their impress on the topography of Edinburgh — 
viz., the Dominican nunnery of St Catherine of Sienna, and 
the abbey of Holyrood. Regarding the former. Stark, in 
his * Picture of Edinburgh,' remarks : " The monastery 
founded by Lady St Clair of Roslin, and dedicated to St 
Catherine of Sienna, stood a little to the south of the east 
end of the Meadows. A fragment of the wall still remains. 
At the Reformation the magistrates seized upon the revenue 
of this convent, and it was with some difficulty that they 
were compelled to allow the unprotected inmates some part 
of their own funds for their future maintenance. The 
narrow lane which led to this religious establishment still 
retains the name of Sciennes or Sheens." ^ Stark wrote in 
1819; since then the name Sciennes has been applied to 
an area wider than the narrow lane referred to. 

We have a reminder of the dedication of the nunnery in 
the names of St Catherine's Place and St Catherine's Gar- 
dens. Spottiswood attributes the foundation of the nunnery 
to Lady Roslin, and some later writers, including Stark, as 
quoted above, have evidently followed him ; but the editor 
of * Liber Conventus S. Katherine Senensis prope Edin- 
burgum' holds that ''the charter and papal bull, now 
printed, show that the convent in question owed its founda- 
tion to the piety of certain religiously disposed persons in 
the year 1517, by which time, it may be presumed, her 
ladyship was in her grave."* Sir Daniel Wilson ascribes 

^ Remarkable Ruins, vol. i. ^ Keith's Bishops, pp. 427, 428. 

• P. 96. * Prcf.f p. iii. 


the foundation of the nunnery to Lady Seytoun, widow of 
George, third Earl of Seytoun, who fell at Flodden, and 
quotes in confirmation of his view a passage from the 
' History of the House of Seytoun * ending thus : " Sche 
gydit hir sonnis leving quhill he was cumit of age; and 
thairefter sche passit and remainit in the place of Senis, 
on the Borrow Mure, besyd Edinburgh, the rest of her 
lyvetyme. Quhilk place sche helpit to fund and big as 
maist principale." ^ 

The abbey of Holyrood— the tradition regarding whose 
origin is referred to in chap. xiii. — was founded by 
David I. in 1128 for canons regular of the Order of St 
Augustine. The canons appear to have been settled, first 
within the castle of Edinburgh, but in the year mentioned 
the building of. their abbey on its present site was begun. 
The editor of * Liber Cartarum Sancte Crucis ' * remarks : 
** From this time forward the monastery was styled the 
Abbey of the Holy Cross or Holyrood near Edinburgh, 
and sometimes the Abbey of Edinburgh ; and by Fordun, 
Monasterium Sanctae Crucis de Crag, from its situation at 
the foot of Salisbury Crags." In addition to its structural 
remains, it has left a trace of itself in the name of the 
adjacent suburbs of Abbeyhill, in Canonmills on the Water 
of Leith, and in Canongate, a separate burgh till 1856. 
Regarding the last. Chambers writes : ** The Canongate, 
which takes its name from the Augustine Canons of Holy- 
rood (who were permitted to build it by the charter of 
David L in 1128, and afterwards ruled it as a burgh of 
regality), was formerly the court end of the town. As the 
main avenue from the palace into the city, it has borne 
upon its pavement the burden of all that was beautiful, 
ail that was gallant, all that has become historically 
interesting in Scotland for the last six or seven hundred 
years." * 

We find a trace of the Holyrood monks beyond Edin- 
burgh — ^viz., in the ancient parish of Bara in East Lothian, 
now united to Garvald, where the church and its pertinents 

^ Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time, p. 417. 

' Pref., p. xviii. ' Traditions of Edinburg^h, p. 326. 


duction of the feudal system into Scotland, when the 
English settlers, who followed in the wake of Queen 
Margaret, became possessors of manors, to be held by them 
as vassals of the Crown. Regarding the new settlers. 
Professor Innes remarks: "They had found churches on 
their manors, or, if not already there, had erected them. 
To each of these manorial churches the lord of the manor 
now made a grant of the tithes of his estate ; and forthwith 
the manor tithed to its church became what we now call 
a parish." 1 When a large manor was subdivided into 
several lordships, it was often found advisable that each 
should have a church of its own. In the twelfth century, 
Wice gave to the monks of Kelso the church of his manor 
of Wicestun (Wiston), along with its two chapels — viz., the 
chapel of the town of Robert, brother of Lambin, and that 
of the town of John, stepson of Baldwin. A third chapel 
was afterwards built within the limits of Wice's manor, on 
the lands of Simon Loccard. In the following century all 
these chapels attained to an independent status, and from 
them sprang the present parishes of Roberton, Crawford- 
john, and Symington.* 

The liberality of kings and nobles to the monasteries 
founded or revived about this time led to a change in the 
lately -introduced parochial system by subordinating to a 
large extent the secular to the regular clergy. The lands 
forming the present parish of Melrose were granted to King 
David's abbey there, and the cure of souls was exclusively 
under monastic control. The church of the abbey served 
as the church of the parish. There were. Professor Innes 
remarks, "no rector and vicar, at first no landlord and 
tenant ; and, more remarkable still, no tithes. The monks 
were proprietors and cultivators, parishioner and parson." * 
But this was exceptional. When a church was granted to 
a monastery, the usual arrangement was either that one of 
the brethren should serve the cure, or that a secular clergy- 
man should do so at a stipend paid by the monastery to 
which the church and its tithes had been granted. Tithes 

* O. p. S., vol. i., Pref., p. ii. 

* Innes's Sketches of Early Scotch History, p. 13. 
' Ibid. 


were of two kinds — rectorial and vicarial, known otherwise 
as great and small. When a benefice had been transferred 
to an abbey or a cathedral, its tithes were apportioned in 
the following way, as described by Professor Innes : ** Where 
the canon law had its course — I mean, where there was no 
special covenant — the tithes of the parish were simply 
divided into great and small ; the great tithes, dedma bladiy 
tithes of all corn going to the rector or to the monastery or 
cathedral, which was in law the rector; the small tithes, 
decima fcmi^ that is, of hay, of garden produce, and of all 
other produce — subject to tithe falling to the vicar, to whom 
also belonged the altar and personal offerings." ^ 

When a parish church had an inde{)endent status, the 
tithes, both great and small, went to its incumbent, who 
was known as the rector or parson {persona eccksia). We 
find the latter name represented in topography. Thus in 
Kilmelfort and Kilninver parish, about a mile from the head 
of Loch Melfort, is a sheet of water styled the Parson's 
Lake, containing a wooded island, with a ruin on it said 
to have been the residence of the parson.* Parson's-pool 
is in Drumblade parish, Aberdeenshire. Regarding it Mr 
James Macdonald observes : " Probably Parson's-pool in- 
dicates that the church had claims on the land in the 
neighbourhood, though the explanation given in the district 
is that once on a time a * parson ' lost his life in one of the 
pools, which were numerous in the marshes, then extending 
over a large part of the country around."* Parsonsgreen 
is a suburb of Edinburgh near Abbeyhill. The parson of 
Glasgow had, in 1573, lands "near the Stabill-greene " 
known as the '* Personis-Croft," and other lands ** near 
Stobcors " (Stobcross) styled the ** Personis-hauch." * 

In various parishes we find a piece of ground called 
Vicar's Croft or Vicar's Acre. The kirklands of Strath- 
blane parish included Vicarland, a one-merkland near the 
church. Vicarland is also mentioned in connection with 
the parish of Cambuslang. Vicar's Lands in Stonehouse 
parish lay between Stonehouse and the Avon, and were 

^ Legal Antiquities, pp. 194, 195. ^ N. S. A., Argyll, p. 65. 

' Place-Names in Strathbogie, p. 66. 
* Glasgow Protocols, vol. tv. p. 20, note. 


known in modern times as " The Vicars." Hobkirk parish 
had anciently " Viccarislandis, Viccarishall, and Clerks- 
bankis," all belonging to the canons of Jedburgh.^ In 
Strathendrick is the Vicar's Bogend, — '^a name which, as 
Mr Guthrie-Smith observes, does not convey the idea that 
the poor churchman had a fruitful soil to cultivate."^ In 
Leuchars parish is Vicarsford farm; and spanning the 
Devon, some two miles east of Dollar, is the Vicar's Bridge, 
recalling Thomas Forrest, vicar of Dollar, who, along with 
four others, suffered death at the stake on the Castle Hill 
of Edinburgh in 1538, for having espoused the principles 
of the Reformation. 

The church of St John — the parish church of Perth — ^was 
under the charge of a vicar appointed by the chapter of 
Dunfermline Abbey. We find a reminiscence of the fact 
in the name of Vicar Knoll, in the grounds of Friartown, 
Among Gaelic forms are Balvicar in Seil island, and Bailie- 
Vicar in Kildalton parish, Islay, both signifying the Dwell- 
ing of the Vicar. Curates were not so common in pre- 
Reformation as in post- Reformation times ; and such names 
as Curate's Neuk in Kirkcolm parish; Curate's Well, a 
spring in Dunsyre parish ; and Curate's Steps, a small pass 
beside the river Ayr, in Sorn parish, — are in all probability 
to be attributed to the days of seventeenth - century 

After the zeal for monasticism had largely abated in 
Scotland, particularly during the century and a half before 
the Reformation, considerable interest was shown in the 
formation of collegiate churches, which were in reality, as 
Professor Cosmo Innes points out, "little cathedrals, for 
they imitated the service and constitution of cathedrals, only 
on a smaller scale."* Dr David Laing remarks: "These 
collegiate churches, called Praepositurse, were instituted for 
secular priests or canons, and for choristers, and were under 
the jurisdiction of a dean or provost. Each of these churches 
consisted of a certain number of prebendaries or canons 
where they had their several stalls, and with their dean or 
provost made up the chapter. Most of these establishments, 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 352. • Strathendrick, p. 22. 

' N. S. A., Ayr, p. 144. * Legal Antiquities, p. 201. 


there is reason to believe, had existed as chapels or parish 
churches long before they were thus enlarged and endowed 
by the great landed proprietors in the neighbourhood." * At 
the Reformation there were about thirty-eight of these col- 
legiate churches, eight of them being in Mid-Lothian. The 
parish church of Methven, in Perthshire, which had been 
dedicated in 1247 by Bishop David de Bernham, was made 
collegiate in 1433 by Walter Stewart, Earl of AthoU, for a 
provost and five prebendaries. Even in post- Reformation 
times the ministers of Methven were called provosts, and re- 
tained the name till the Revolution in 1688.^ About the 
year 1450 the priory of Abernethy, in the same county, was 
erected into a collegiate church by George Douglas, fourth 
Earl of Angus, for a provost and six prebendaries. The 
former is remembered in the name of his home farm, which 
is still known as Provost-Mains, forming part of the lands of 
Cordon.^ Provost-Haugh, at Glasgow, named in a statute 
by the Town Council of 19th April 1589,* might suggest the 
Provost of the Collegiate Church of St Mary and St Anne, 
known as Our Lady College ; ^ but there is reason to believe 
that it recalls not an ecclesiastical provost, but a provost of 
the burgh. At Brechin are gardens known as the College 
Yards, containing a spring of excellent water styled the 
College Well. A College Wynd is also found in the burgh. 
There was no collegiate church at Brechin, and these names 
are said to point to the Culdee monastery which, according 
to local tradition, once stood in the College Yards, and was 
supplied with water from the College Well.® 

In connection with the rearrangement of parishes after the 
Reformation, certain changes were made in their names in- 
volving the loss of ecclesiastical associations. Thus the two 
ancient Kintyre parishes of Kilcholmkill and Kilblane, and 
the four of Kilkivan, Kilmichael, Kilkerran, and Kilchous- 
land, — all bearing witness to early Christian dedications, — 

^ Charters of Collegiate Churches in Mid-Lothian, Pref., p. iii. 
^ Morris's The Provostry of Methven, pp. 1, 2. 
' Rev. D. Butler's History of Abernethy, p. 275. 

* Glasgow Protocols, vol. x., No. 3276, note. 
' MacGeorge's Old Glasgow, p. 137. 

* Black's History of Brechin, p. 2. 


are now known as Southend and Campbeltown respectively. 
In like manner the ancient Forfarshire parishes of St Skeoch 
or Dunninald, and Inchbrayock or Craig, have been known, 
since their union in 1618, simply as Craig. The Dumfries- 
shire parish of St Mungo is an exception to this rule. Prior 
to the Reformation it was known first as Abermelc and later 
as Castlemelc. Though its church was then dedicated to St 
Mungo, his name did not dominate the parish till post- 
Reformation times.^ 

Prestwick, in Ayrshire, as indicated in chap, xxix., 
signifies the Priest's Dwelling. In connection with the 
history of the name Chalmers remarks: "The old parishes 
of Monktown and Prestwick existed in the twelfth century, 
and were then called Prestwic and Prestwicburgh. The 
church of Prestwic was dedicated to the Saxon saint, Cuth- 
bert, and the church of Prestwicburgh to St Nicholas. Both 
those parishes and the patronage of the churches belonged 
to Walter, the son of Alan, the first of the Stewarts, who 
was lord of all the northern half of Kyle. In the beginning 
of the reign of William the Lion, Walter granted to the 
monastery which he had founded at Paisley the church of 
Prestwic, with the lands which formed the manor of Prest- 
wic ; and he also granted to the same monastery the church 
of Prestwicburgh, with its pertinents. In 1227 Walter, the 
Bishop of Glasgow, made an ordinance respecting all the 
churches belonging to the monks of Paisley within his 
diocese, whereby it was settled that the vicar of the church 
of St Cuthbert of Prestwic should have, in the name of 
vicarage, six chalders of meal, yearly, with the altarages; 
and the monks were allowed to hold the church of St 
Nicholas of Prestwicburgh solely to their own use — they 
finding a chaplain to serve the cure." In virtue of the 
monks* ownership of Prestwick, the name, as we saw in 
chap, xviii., was changed to Monktown. What followed 
is thus described by Chalmers : ** After this change of the 
name of Prestwic to Monktoun, the other parish of Prestwic- 
burgh was called simply Prestwic, the adjunct being no 
longer necessary to distinguish it from the adjoining parish. 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. pp. 187, 188. 


The monks of Paisley continued to hold the two parishes of 
Monktoun and Prestwic till the Reformation." ^ 

Preston — i.e., the Priest's Town or Dwelling — is repre- 
sented in England by some thirty-six examples, one of the 
most suggestive of these being Preston-upon-the- Wild-Moors, 
a Shropshire parish. Though Scotland has not nearly so 
many, its Lowland districts furnish several instances. Thus 
we have the parish of Prestonpans in East Lothian, com- 
prising the two ancient baronies of Preston and Preston- 
Grange, known at one time as the East and West baronies. 
Preston-Grange, as we have seen, was a farm belonging to 
the monks of Newbattle, who busied themselves with the 
manufacture of salt at the pans beside the sea. The lands 
of Preston in Cranston parish, Mid-Lothian, were, along 
with the church of Cranston, granted by the Riddels to the 
abbey of Kelso, which continued to be rector of the church 
till 1317.^ The ancient name survives in the village of 
Preston and in the estate of Prestonhall, through whose 
park flows the Tyne, still only a small stream. There is 
another Prestonhall in Cupar parish, Fife. Colvend parish, 
Kirkcudbrightshire, has a Preston ; and we must not forget 
the ancient Berwickshire parish of Preston, now united to 
Bunkle, whose church seems to have been unattached to 
any monastery, and whose priest would therefore enjoy full 
parochial rights.^ On the farm of Garnaburn, in Colmonell 
parish, are the lands of Prieston, where a stone resembling 
a font was found in 1875, but was removed two years later to 
the grounds of Bargany House. Jervise remarks : *' Prieston, 
a farm about a mile west from Tealing church, is probably 
Priest's Croft, which was granted, along with the kirk of 
Tealing, to St Andrews Priory by Hugh Gifford and his 
son, then lords of Tealing — a grant confirmed by William 
the Lion." * Preston in Kilbarchan parish was evidently the 
Home of the Priest, connected with " Our Lady Chapel in 
Ranfurlye," not far off.* In Linlithgow parish is the estate 
of Preston, about a mile to the south of the burgh. The 
church of Linlithgow and its possessions, both within and 

^ Caledonia, vol. iit. pp. 505, 506. ' Ibid., vol. ii. p. 817. 

' Ibid., vol. ii. p. 374. ^ Epitaphs, vol. ii. pp. 371, 372. 

' Mackenzie's Kilbarchan, p. 260. 


without the burgh, were granted by David I. to the priory 
of St Andrews,^ which thereafter became the rector of the 
parish, the cure being served by a vicar. It is not, however, 
clear whether it was the vicar or the priest officiating in 
St Ninian's chapel at the Westport that had his dwelling 
at Preston. 

In Kirkbean parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, is a decayed 
hamlet known as Preston or Preston-Mill. It was once a 
burgh of regality, with four annual fairs ; but its cross is 
now the sole reminder of its former privileges.^ The lands 
of Prestonfield, now in Duddingston parish, were till 1630 
in the Edinburgh parish of St Cuthbert's. A piece of ground 
at CuUen in Banffshire, known as Priest's-field, is mentioned 
in a charter of 1583.* The parish church of CuUen was 
made collegiate in 1543 by Sir Alexander Ogilvie of Desk- 
ford, whose effigy is still to be seen in a recess within the 
building. The lands of Priestfield, in the barony of Bowden 
in Roxburghshire, were held of the abbey of Kelso, and in 
1327 were "bound to provide a man-at-arms, who should 
be the captain of thirty archers found by the barony."* 

Holnty a meadow by a river, appears in Preistisholme 
(Priest's-holm) in Lesmahagow parish, mentioned in a 
charter of 1593, and in Preston-Holm, a village in Cockpen 
parish close to the South Esk. Till 1296 the church of 
Cockpen was a rectory, but some time after it appears to 
have been handed over to the monks of Newbattle, to whom 
the lands of the parish were granted by the Ramsays of 
Dalhousie.^ Priest's Meadow is the name of a piece of 
ground about three miles from the village of Tarves in 
Aberdeenshire.® The Haddingtonshire parish, now known 
as Prestonkirk, was before the Reformation styled Linton 
or Hauch, — the latter referring to the flat land beside the 
Tyne, — and after the Reformation Preston-haugh, and later 
Prestonkirk. The living was a rectory ; and Gavin Douglas, 
who translated Virgil's *iEneid,' was parson before his 
appointment to be Bishop of Dunkeld in 1515. In 1229 

^ Liber Cartanim Prioratus Sti. Andree, p. 57. 

' Lewis's Scotland, vol. ii. p. 392. ' R. M. S. 

* Liber de Calchou, Pref., p. xl. ' Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 815. 

' Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 355. 


Alexander II. granted to the recently- founded abbey of 
Balmerino the whole of what is now the parish of Barry in 
Forfarshire, with the exception of its church and thirteen 
acres previously conveyed to the monks of Arbroath by 
William the Lion. In 1532 John Auchinleck obtained 
from Balmerino Abbey a charter of certain lands at Barry, 
including Priest-meadow.^ In a charter of 1588 Preistis 
medow (Priest's Meadow) is named as situated near Tor- 
wood in Stirlingshire; and in another, two years earlier, 
we read of a Prestis-medo (Priest's Meadow) on the banks 
of the Tay in the barony of Dunkeld.* 

Priesthope — i.e., the Valley of the Priest — ^is a glen run- 
ning into the south face of Windlestrae Law in Innerleithen 
parish, Peeblesshire. Priestlaw — ue., the Hill of the Priest 
— in Whittinghame parish, East Lothian, is an eminence 
showing traces of ancient fortifications. The same may 
be said of Priestinch Hill in Abercorn parish, West Lothian, 
which is, or was, "surrounded on three sides by a green 
bog called the Priestinch."* In a charter of 1512 a Priest- 
hope is mentioned in the lordship of Ettrick Forest; and 
in another charter, four years earlier, reference is made to 
the lands of Priest's-Gill — i.e., the Ravine of the Priest — 
in the barony of Avondale in Lanarkshire.^ Priest's-Hill — 
in Gaelic, Cnoc-an-tagairt — in Kilmuir - Easter parish, 
Ross-shire, is close to the site of a chapel dedicated to the 
Virgin, removed towards the end of the eighteenth century ; 
and in Muirkirk parish, Ayrshire, is Priesthill, a farm well 
known in Covenanting annals in connection with the tragic 
death of its occupier, John Brown. The district in Liddes- 
dale of which Castletown is the centre had at one time three 
churches and three chapels. It is not surprising, therefore, 
to find there a Priestheugh — i.e., the Height of the Priest. 
In Glenesk, in Forfarshire, is a precipitous hill known as 
Priest's Craig — i.e.y the Rock of the Priest. In Eckford 
parish, Roxburghshire, some land belonging to the vicar 
of the parish at the time of the Reformation was styled 
Priest's Crown. The name continued in modern times to 
be given to a field on the farm of Eastmains, where in 

^ Campbell's Balmerino Abbey, pp. 117, 613. ' R. M. S. 

' N. S. A., Linlithgow, p. 18. * R. M. S. (1424*1513), pp. 697, 808. 


1831 a stone coffin was dug up ''containing a few decayed 
bones in one comer, and a small jar with some black dust in 
it in the other." ^ At Caverton, in the same parish, once 
stood a chapel, whose cemetery was in use till the end of 
the eighteenth century. In its immediate neighbourhood 
was a spring known as Holy Well or Priest's Well.* Priest's 
Den and Priest's Well, in Cargill parish, Perthshire, though 
not close to the present church, are near the spot where 
probably stood the original church which, at an early date, 
was granted to the abbey of Cupar.* In Cummertrees 
parish, Dumfries, is Priestside. Connected with it is a 
local tradition regarding Bruce, which is thus narrated in 
the * N. S. A.' : * " When Bruce was on the shore, at a place 
called Priestside, being weary and exhausted by hunger and 
fatigue, a farmer's wife fed him with bread and eggs, but 
without salt. On learning that the people along the Priest- 
side were not allowed to make salt, Bruce, with his usual 
generosity, immediately granted to the people in that 
quarter a charter to make salt, duty free. Several years 
before the salt duty was removed, the Excise tried the 
validity of the Priestside, or rather Annandale, Salt Charter 
at Edinburgh, when, after much litigation, it was found to 
be good and sufficient; but that it was granted according 
to the circumstances handed down by tradition, cannot be 
clearly proved." Priestside was formerly known as Priest- 
woodside. There, according to a report long current, the 
sculptured cross, now at Ruthwell, was anciently set up 
until it was removed either by angels, according to one 
tradition, or, according to a more probable story, by a team 
of oxen.* 

The stream flowing into the Loch of Lindores, in Fife, 
is named the Priest's-burn. It rises in a moss about half 
a mile from the loch, and is said never to freeze, and never 
to become dry even in the hottest weather.® Priest's Water, 
in Gartly parish, Aberdeenshire, which, after its union with 
Lag Bum, flows into the Bogie, is believed to have derived 
its name from the priest who officiated in the pre-Reforma- 

* N. S. A., Roxburg-h, p. 227. ' O. P. S., vol. i. p. J97. 

' Jervise's Memorials, vol. ii. p. no. ^ Dumfries, p. 248. 

' P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxi. p. 196. * N. S. A., Fife, p. 49. 


tion chapel at Tillythrowie in the same parish. The chapel 
was probably dedicated to St Finan, as there is a well in 
its neighbourhood named after him.^ Presgarth, in Shetland, 
means the Enclosure of the Priest ; and Persebus, in Islay, 
according to Captain Thomas, is a metathesis for Presabus, 
the fuller form being Prestabolstadr — uc, the Homestead 
of the Priest, reminding one of Presthus in Iceland.* Tliere 
is, or was, a Prestrebrig (Prestrebridge) in Sprouston parish. 
Near it were two bovates of land granted in 11 59 by 
Malcolm IV. to the monks of Kelso in exchange for other 
two bovates connected with the church of St Laurence at 
Berwick, conveyed by them to the king.^ Near the ruined 
church of the ancient parish of Kirkbride in Ayrshire, now 
united to Maybole, is a field styled the Priest's Land. 
Darvel, in Loudon parish, had another Priestland. The 
church of Loudon was granted at an early date to Kil- 
winning Abbey, probably by its founder, Hugh de Morville, 
and the cure was served by a chaplain appointed by the 
monastery.* In Troqueer parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, the 
living was a vicarage, the church having been granted to 
the abbey of Tongueland. The priest who served the cure 
is still remembered in the name of Priestlands in the 

Clerk (Lat. clericus) formerly signified a clergyman or 
priest. In this sense we find it in such names as Clarkis- 
bume (Clerk's-burn) in Oxnam parish, Roxburghshire; 
Clerksburn in Glasserton parish, Wigtownshire; Clerks- 
bankis (Clerk's-banks) in Hobkirk parish, Roxburghshire; 
and probably Clarkston or Clerkston, in Cathcart parish, 
Renfrewshire; and Clarkston in New Monkland parish, 
Lanarkshire. We find Clerkington, an estate in Had- 
dington parish, and Clerkington, an ancient parish in Mid- 
Lothian now forming part of Temple. Chalmers says : 
** During the twelfth century the name of Clerkington in 
Mid-Lothian, as well as Clerkington in East Lothian, was 
written Clerchetun, which is obviously the Anglo-Saxon 
cUrc, a clerk, a churchman with the annex tun, a habita- 

^ Macdonald's Place-Names in Strathbogie, pp. 97-99. 

' P. S. A. Scot., vol. xvi. p. 257. ' Lib. de Calchou, p. 299. 

^ Caledonia, vol. iti. p. 554. 


tion." Regarding Clerkington in Mid- Lothian, Chalmers 
adds : *' David 11. granted the manor of Clerkington to 
Walter Bisset; and he transferred the church, with its 
tithes and pertinents, to the monks of Newbotle ; granting 
them, at the same time, an annual rent of five marks from 
the manor. The monks enjoyed the parsonage, while the 
cure was served by a vicar ; and this regimen continued till 
the Reformation annulled it. At that event, the patronage 
of the church, with the annual rent of five marks firom the 
mill of Clerkington, were enjoyed by Mark Ker, the com- 
mendator of Newbotle, who transmitted the whole to his 
descendants, and, acquiring the temporal estate, they 
changed the name of Clerkington to New-Ancrum." ^ 

The Latin clericus was adopted by the Gael, with the 
result that our topography shows names like Ballancleroch 
in Stirlingshire, and Balclerache near Aberdour, in Fife, 
the Dwelling of the Cleric, Mollenaclerich, in Balfiron 
parish, the Mill of the Cleric; and Dhalachlirich, in 
Strathdon parish, the Field of the Cleric. Sir Herbert 
Maxwell gives the following examples: " Barneycleary, 
barr-na'clerech, hill of the clergy, Cliry, and Portacleirys in 
Wigtownshire, LeffinclesLry in South A)n:shire — leth pheighinn 
(ley flinn) cUreich, parson's halfpenny-land, and Auchencleiry, 
the parson's field."* Sir Herbert also mentions Clary Park, 
a field on the farm of Prestrie — ue,, Priestery — in Whithorn 
parish.* Dr Alexander Macbain gives two Gaelic forms 
borrowed from Latin — viz., cfetV, the clergy, from cliruSy 
and cleireach, a cleric, from clericus. Clary and Portaclearys 
just mentioned are evidently connected with the former.* 
The ancient parish of Rossie in the Carse of Gowrie, now 
united to Inchture, was at one time known as Rossinclerach. 
The place was an ancient Columban abbacy, whose tradi- 
tions were kept alive in the dedication of its church to St 
Coman conjointly with St Laurence.^ 

Knocklearoch, in Islay, stands for Cnoc-Cleireach — ue.f 
the Hill of the Clerics. The following tradition regarding 

1 Caledonia, vol. ii. pp. 8ii, 812. ^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 177. 

» Gall. Top., s.v. "Claiy Park.»' 

* Gaelic Dictionary, s.v. "Cleirand Cleireach." 

' Reg. Prior. S. Andree, p. 348. 


the locality, as told by Mr Hector MacLean of Ballygranti 
Islay, is cited by Captain Thomas : ** There is a tradition 
that two clerics were hanged, and that the day on which 
they were hanged was remarkably stormy. So it has been 
a byword in Islay ever since I remember, when a cold 
stormy day came on, * This day is worse than the day on 
which the clerics were hanged.' At Knocklearoch are two 
monoliths called Na Cleirich, ' The Clerics,' and under these, 
tradition relates, the two clerics were buried." ^ 

The Latin sacerdos, a priest, was also adopted by the Gael. 
It appears in Gaelic as sagart. In topography, however, the 
word has assumed different forms. Thus Balsaggart in 
Kirkmichael parish, Ayrshire, and Balhagarty in Garvock 
parish, Kincardineshire, are both the Dwelling of the Priest. 
Cairnhaggard in Stoneykirk parish, Wigtownshire, and 
Carntaggart in Aberdeenshire, signify the Priests' Cairn; 
and Knocktaggart in Kirkmabreck parish, and Cnoc-t- 
sagairt in Kirkmaiden parish, are the Priests' Hill. Re- 
garding the two latter. Sir Herbert Maxwell remarks : " In 
each case this name occurs close to the site of an old 
church — viz.. Old Kirkmabreck and Chapelrossan respec- 
tively." ^ Altaggart in New Luce parish, and Auld Taggart 
in Inch parish, denote the Stream or Glen of the Priest, 
the Gaelic allt having both meanings. In Douglas parish 
are the lands of Glentaggart — i.e., the Priest's Glen, where, 
in connection with a building believed to have been a chapel, 
a stone font was discovered many years ago.^ 

Multaggart in Kirkmabreck parish, and Mulan an-'t-sagairt 
in Buchanan parish, are each the Hill of the Priest, — both 
embodying Gaelic meall, a lump or hill. Drumsargart, 
where the r seems intrusive, is probably the Ridge of the 
Priest, from Gaelic druim, a back or ridge. It was at one 
time the alternative name of Cambuslang parish, Lanark- 
shire, the parish having been formed from the ancient 
barony of Drumsargart. The church was a free parsonage, 
and the lord of the manor was its patron. William, parson 
of Drumsirgar, witnessed two charters of Bishop Joceline 
of Glasgow at the end of the twelfth century. In 1429 

^ P. S. A. Scot, vol. xvi. p. 267. 

^ GaU. Top. ' N. S. A, Lanark, p. 494. 


Bishop Cameron of Glasgow erected the parsonage into a 
prebend of his cathedral.^ The land belonging to the parish 
church of Migvie, in Aberdeenshire, was known as Petten- 
tagart C' terra ecclesise de Migvaeth vocat. pettengart).^ 
The name signifies Portion of the Priest. Pit (Old Gaelic 
pet, pett) is found in Pictish districts, and, as occurring in 
topography, is interpreted by Dr Macbain as farm or por- 
tion.' In Modem GaeUc pit denotes a hollow. Loch-an- 
tagart, in Applecross parish, is the Priest's Loch, and 
Eilean-'n-tagart, in Loch Awe, is the Priest's Isle, with 
some remains of a house believed to have been the residence 
of the priest.'* On the neighbouring Inisherrich are the 
ruins of the chapel where the priest doubtless officiated. 
Its cemetery was in use long after the building was deserted. 

A chapel once stood at Kirkboll or KirkiboU in Tongue 
parish, Sutheriand, about half a mile from where the parish 
church of Tongue was built in 1680. A portion of the glebe 
is known as Eilean-tigh-an-t-sagairt — i.^., the Island of the 
Priest's House. At Skail, in the neighbouring parish of 
Farr, on some level ground between the river Naver and 
the hill known as Cnoc-an-t-sagairt, or the Priest's Hill, 
once stood a chapel with a cemetery. Close to it is a piece 
of ground believed to have been the glebe land of the chapel, 
and locally known as Dalacsary, which, Cosmo Innes sug- 
gests, is perhaps an altered form of Dal-an-t-sagairt — t.^., 
the Priest's Field. At the east end of the cemetery stands 
a cross-marked stone said to indicate the grave of the last 
pre-Reformation incumbent of Farr, or of Durness, the ad- 
joining parish, who was known as the red priest, and was 
credited with the power of working miracles. At Balnakiel, 
in Durness parish, is a hollow stone known as Clach-an- 
sagart-ruadh — t.^., the Stone of the Red Priest.* 

On the north bank of the Tay, about two miles above 
Dunkeld, is a large stone called in the district Clach-an-t- 
sagairt. There appears to be no tradition about the iden- 
tity of the priest; but one is not inclined to agree with 
Colonel Robertson when he says, regarding the name, " It 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. pp. 60, 61. * Reg-. Prior. S. Andree, Pref., p. xxt. 

» Gaelic Diet., f.w. " Pit." * O. S. A, vol. vi. p. 267. 

' O. P. S., vol. it. pp. 702, 708. 


clearly belongs to heathen times." ^ At Dunfallandy is an 
ancient cross slab bearing various symbols, and known as 
the Priest's Stone. When Dr John Stuart described the 
slab in 1856 it stood in a ruined chapel '* near Killiecrankie, 
in a wood on the west bank of the river Garry, and has 
since been erected behind Dunfallandy Cottage, about 100 
yards from the road which runs along the west bank of the 
river Tummel below Pitlochry.*'* In Kirkmichael parish, 
Banffshire, is a block of stone styled Clach-ant-shagairt, 
which is said to have been connected with a sixteenth- 
century tragedy. The tradition regarding it is thus nar- 
rated by the writer of the parish article in the ' O. S. A.' : * 
" In the year 1575 a priest who had refused to marry the 
uncle to the niece was seized by the ruffian and his party, 
laid upon a faggot, bound to a stone, and in this manner 
burnt to death. The remembrance of this atrocious deed 
is still preserved in the stone." At Balquhidder, in Perth- 
shire, is a hollow block of stone locally styled Hasan an 
sagairt, or the Priest's Basin. Mr J. Mackintosh Gow 
gives its dimensions as about eight feet long by five feet 
broad at the broadest part, and about two feet above 
ground. It lies just inside the road dyke; and Mr Gow 
thinks that when the present road and dyke were made, 
the name of the stone must have saved it from destruction.* 

^ Gaelic Top. of Scotland, p. 270. 

' Early Sculptured Monuments of Scotland, Part III., pp. 286, 287. 

* Vol. xii. p. 442. * P. S. A. Scot., vol. xxi. p. 84. 



Early musionariei — Elachnave — Island^na^Nuagh — Eilean^na^Naomh — 
Holy Island — Slnant and Flannan Isles — Enhallow — Barray — Taransay 
— Colonsay — Oransay — Inchcolm^ isfc — lona — Damsay — Elanmunde — 
Eilean Donan — Elan Finan — Eilean Afore — Rona — St Niman's Isle — 
Ronaldshay—St OMs Isle— St KUda—Inms-Maree—St Mary's 
Isle — St Serf's Island — St Margaret's Inch — Meanings of Inch- — 
Inchmichael — Incbmartin — Inchaffray — St Macbar's Inch — Inchhrayock 
— Inchinnan — Inch Kenneth — Tnchmamock — Inchmahome — Inch^Aidan 
— Inchmurrin — InchccaUeach — Inch^ta^Vannoch* 

As we have already seen, most of our early missionaries 
came from Ireland ; and the Western Isles formed tempting 
halting- places where a hermit's cell could be built or a 
church founded as the centre of a monastic community. In 
the channel between Mull and the coast of Lome is the 
Garveloch group. One of these is Elachnave/ where St 
Columba founded a monastery and placed his uncle, St 
Ernan, at its head. There are still to be seen the ruined 
buildings of the monastic establishment, consisting of oratory, 
beehive cells, kiln, &c., all of stone without lime. Elach- 
nave is called by Fordun " insula sanctorum '* — i.e., the 
Isle of Saints, and, according to Bishop Reeves, is now 
known to the Gaelic-speaking people of the neighbourhood 
as Eileann-na-Naoimh, with the same meaning. Professor 
Mackinnon explains the name diiferently. He holds that 
Elach is not eilean, an island, but aileach, a stone structure, 
and thinks that the reference is to the cells of the saints 

^ Bishop Reeves visited the island in 1852 along- with Cosmo Innes and 
W. F. Skene, and gives an account of its remains in Adamnan's 'Vita 
Sancti Columbae,' pp. 323, 324. 


who dwelt on the island.^ Island Nave, otherwise Eilean 
Nave, lying about a mile to the west of Islay, with a ruined 
church and an ancient burying - ground, is regarded by 
Captain Thomas as equivalent to Eilean-na-Naoimh — ue,, 
the Isle of Saints.^ The same meaning attaches to Island- 
na-Nuagh, near Applecross, and to Eilean-na-Naomh, off 
the Kyle of Tongue, in Sutherland, — the latter being also 
known as Ealan-na-Coomb (St Columba's Island). It has 
traces of a chapel and burying-ground.* Holy Island, close 
to Lamlash in Arran, derived its sacred character from its 
connection with St Molios, and was hence styled by the 
Norsemen Melansay — f.^., St Molios's Island. Dean Monro, 
circa 1594, speaks of ane little ile callit the yle of Molass, 
quherin there was foundit by Johne, Lord of the iles, ane 
monastry of friars, which is decayit."* 

In the Minch, between Skye and Lewis, are the Shiant — 
ue.y Holy — Isles, the group having derived their name from 
Eilean Mhuire, where, in Martin's time, stood a chapel to 
the Virgin. Some fifteen miles to the west of Lewis is a 
group of seven islands known as the Flannan or Holy Isles. 
On the largest of them are the remains of a chapel to St 
Flannan, patron of Killaloe in Ireland. Martin mentions 
that this chapel was held in much reverence by fowlers in 
the Lewis, who went once a-year to catch the sea-birds on 
the island.*^ Enhallow, in Orkney, is Eyin-helga — t.e,, the 
Holy Isle. Miinch says that it was so called "rather from 
the general traditions respecting the sanctity of the soil 
than from any particular building or institution of a sacred 
character." He adds : ** Rats and mice, it is asserted, will 
not live there ; and if corn is cut after sunset, blood flows 
from the straw."* 

Coming to particular saints, we find the name of St Barr 
or Finbar, patron of Cork, represented in Barray in the 
Outer Hebrides — i.e., St Barr's Island — the last syllable 
being the Norse -ey or -ay, an island. The saint is much 
venerated in Barray. His festival — the 25th of September 

^ Scotsman, Article No. ix. ' P. S. A Scot., vol. xvi. p. 264. 

' O. S. A., vol. ill. p. 521. ^ Description of Western Isles, p. 15. 

' Western Isles, pp. 16, 17. 

' Mdmoires de la Soc. Roy. des Antiq. du Nord (1845-49), p. 243. 



— was kept as a holiday, being devoted to horse-racing, 
with feasting in the evening.^ In Martin's time a wooden 
image of the saint, clothed in a linen shirt, stood on 
the altar of the church at Kilbar. Martin says: "I 
came very early in the Morning with an intention to see 
this Image, but was disappointed ; for the Natives pre- 
vented me, by carrying it away, lest I might take 
occasion to ridicule their Superstition; and when I was 
gone, it was again expos*d on the Altar." ^ The island 
at the mouth of Campbeltown Bay, Argyllshire, now 
known as Davar or Devar, was anciently called St Barr's 

Taransay, off Harris, is regarded by Forbes as the island 
either of Ethernan, a bishop in Buchan, who is believed to 
have died about 669, or of Talaricanus, who was patron of 
Fordyce, where he left his name in St Tarkin's Well.* 
With more probability, however, Taransay recalls Ternan, 
otherwise Terrananus, a disciple of Palladius in the fifth cen- 
tury. Regarding the island Martin says : *' It has two 
chapels, one dedicated to St Tarran, the other to St Keith. 
There is an antient Tradition among the Natives here, that 
a Man must not be bury'd in St Tarran's, nor a Woman 
in St Keith's, because otherwise the Corps would be found 
above-ground the day after it is interred."^ Colonsay, 
anciently Colosus, and Oransay, anciently Orisoi, have, as 
Reeves points out, etymologically nothing to do with St 
Columba and St Oran respectively. These two saints seem 
at first sight to be at cross purposes, for there is a Killoran 
in Colonsay; and in Oransay stood a priory believed to 
have been founded by Columba.® The etymology of Colon- 
say is uncertain ; but Captain Thomas is probably correct 
when he equates Oransay with Orfiris-ey, the Island with 
the Ebbing. He says: ''There are at least four islands in 
the Outer Hebrides, and two in Skye, bearing the name 
Oransay, Ornsay. In every case that I know of, they are 

^ O. S. A., vol. xiii. p. 326. ' Western Isles, p. 92. 

' O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 12. Barr, in Ayrshire, has probably nothing to do 
with the saint, being evidently the Gaelic barr, top or ridge. Dunbar is 
the Fort on the Ridge. 

^ Kal. ' Western Isles, p. 49. * O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 281. 


connected at low water by a reef to another island. The 
real name is Orfirisey; from Or-fjara (Icelandic), an out- 
going, ebbing. Or-firis-ey is the proper name for islands 
which at low water are joined to the mainland by a reef 
which is covered at high water." ^ 

One naturally expects to iind St Columba's name associ- 
ated with islands, and one is not disappointed. Dr Joseph 
Anderson remarks : '' Inchcolm is the only island on the 
east coast of Scotland which derives its distinctive designa- 
tion from St Columba. But more than one island on our 
western shores bears his name ; as, for example, St Colm's 
Isle in Loch Erisort and St Colm's Isle in the Minch in 
Lewis ; the island of Columcille, at the head of Loch Arkeg 
in Inverness-shire ; Eilean Colum, in the parish of Tongue 
in Sutherlandshire ; Eilan Columcille, in Portree Bay ; and 
Inch Columcille, in Loch Columcille in Skye; and above 
all, Icolumcille or lona itself. His presence in person at 
each of these localities is not necessarily implied in these 
commemorations, but in all the cases mentioned there were 
ecclesiastical foundations dedicated to his memory.'** On 
Inchcolm are the ruins of a monastery founded by King 
Alexander I., who was storm-stayed on the Island for three 
days in 1123, stnd spent the time with a hermit who devoted 
himself to the service of St Columba, and lived in an 
oratory, the remains of which are still visible. Sir J. Y. 
Simpson, who gives a detailed account of this oratory, thinks 
that it is of a considerably earlier date than Alexander's 

No island along our coasts has been so famous as lona, 
the Lindisfame of Scotland. Inis-nan-Druineach, applied 
to lona, is commonly supposed to mean the Isle of Druids ; 
but Cosmo Innes interprets the name as "the isle of the 
artizans or workmen, a term which seems well applied to 
the monks of Columba." * An early form of its name was I,* 
to which Choluimchille — i.^., Columba of the Church — was 

^ p. S. A. Scot., vol. iv. p. 246. 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. i. p. 69, note. 
' P. S. A. Scot., vol. ii. pp. 487-528. ^ O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 297, note. 

• There are several variants of / — e.g"., Y, Hi, Hiiy Hy, la, lo, &c. 
Reeves points out that Adamnan gave to the name of the island a feminine 


added. Bishop Reeves says that in "vernacular use Ee- 
choluim-chille has, from time immemorial, been the only 
recognised name of the island among the Gaelic popula- 
tion." ^ Chambers remarks : " The inhabitants of lona 
entertain a belief that the desolate shrine of St Columba 
shall yet be restored to its primitive glory and sanctity; 
and, in support of their belief, quote no less credible au- 
thority than that of Columba himself: — 

' In lona of my heart, lona of my love, 
Instead of the voice of Monks shall be lowing of cattle ; 
But ere the world come to an end 
lona shall be as it was.' 

Implying, says Paterson, author of the * Legend of lona,' 
that the island, after ages of ruin and neglect, shall again 
be the retreat of piety and learning." Chambers adds: 
" Another prophecy, still more flattering to lona than the 
above, affirms that * seven years before the end of the 
world, the sea, at one tide, shall cover the Western Islands 
and the green-headed Isla, while the island of Columba shall 
swim,' or continue afloat." ^ 

Columba's biographer, St Adamnan, ninth Abbot of lona, 
who died in 704, has his name preserved in Damsay, other- 
wise Daminsey — i.e., Adamnan's Island — in the Bay of 
Firth, Orkney. St Finten, otherwise Munna or Mund, was 
reverenced in the West of Scotland. Elanmunde, in Loch 
Leven, is called after him. It gave name to an ancient 
parish, now included in Lismore and Appin. There are 
still some remains of the church, and its burying-ground 
continues to be used. It consists of "two knolls, one of 
which is appropriated to Glencoe, and the other to 
Lochaber." ' 

St Donan of Eigg, who suffered martyrdom in 617, was a 
friend of Columba, and came from Ireland to settle among 
the Western Isles. He has left his name in Eilean Donan, 

adjectival termination, and made it loua, agreeing with Insula, and that, 
by a mistake of n for u, made at a later date, loua became lona. — Adamnan, 
Introd., pp. cxxviii-cxxx. 

^ Adamnan, Introd., p. cxxx. 

3 The Popular Rhymes of Scotland, pp. 88-90. ' 

' O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 171. 


at the head of Lochalsh, where that loch forks into Lochs 
Long and Duich. The island contains the picturesque 
ruins of a once strong castle, famous in mediaeval history. 
The ancient parish of Elan Finan, now part of Ardna- 
murchan, was called after an island of the same name 
dedicated to St Finan, an Irishman of Ard-Fionain in 
Munster, who died circa 575. The remains of the old parish 
churchy with its burying -ground, are on the island. St 
Finan's bronze bell lies on one of the tombstones, and when 
a funeral takes place the bell is rung before the procession 
from the landing-place to the grave.^ 

Eilean More (t.^., the Great Island) in the Sound of Jura 
was known also as St Cormac's Island, from a chapel on it 
dedicated to that saint, a friend and fellow-countryman of 
Columba, who was noted for his voyages among the Hebrides 
and the Orkneys, and died about 640. An oblong building 
on the island, a few paces from the chapel, is pointed out as 
his tomb. According to the ' N. S. A.,^ the saint is said 
to resent with the most summary vengeance any indignity 
offered to this monument." The ancient chapel, consisting 
of chancel and nave, is still in fair preservation, and contains 
a stone coffin, which for centuries was the receptacle of 
offerings by pilgrims to the island. Even till the beginning 
of last century, ** not a stranger set foot on the island who 
did not conciliate the favour of the saint, by dropping a small 
coin into a chink between the lid of the coffin and its side." ' 
When Martin visited Islay, he found traces of the saint's 
cultus there. He tells us that a poor woman, to whom he 
had given an alms, prayed that the blessing of Mac Charmig, 
the patron saint of the island, might follow him. 

St Ronan, who died in 736, has left his name in Rona — 
i.e., St Ronan's Isle. There are three examples — viz., 
Rona^ off Skye ; Rona, off North Uist ; and Rona, thirty- 
eight miles north-east from the Butt of Lewis — the last 
having the ruins of St Ronan's chapel. Dean Monro says : 
'* Within this ile there is ane chapell, callit St Ronay's 
chapell, unto quhilk chapell, as the ancients of the country 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, p. 198, note. ^ Argyll, p. 263. 

' N. S. A., Argyll, p. 262. For a description of the chapel, vide Muir's 
' Eccles. Notes,' pp. 191 20. 


alledges, they leave an spaid and ane shuil, quhen any man 
dies, and upon the morrow findes the place of the grave 
markit with an spaid, as they alledge."^ According to a 
local legend, St Ronan crossed from Lewis to Rona on the 
back of a whale, and found the island occupied by strange 
creatures like dogs, which, on the saint's approach, fled into 
the sea and were drowned.^ 

Hibbert, in his work on Shetland, says that on "the 
peninsulated eminence of St Ronan's, the foundations 
appear of an old chapel dedicated to St Ninian, commonly 
named Ronan, from the Irish appellation given to the 
saint of Ringan."' Ronan, however, had no connection 
with the place. The peninsula, which is sometimes sur- 
rounded by the sea, is usually known as St Ninian's, other- 
wise St Ringan's, Isle. Martin says : " To the North- West 
of the Ness lies St Ninian's Isle ; it has a Chappel and an 
Altar in it, upon which some of the Inhabitants retain the 
antient superstitious Custom of burning Candle."* This 
was about the year 1695. In Low's time — ^viz., in 1774 — ^the 
lower storey of the ruined chapel was vaulted, and probably 
served as a burying-place ; ^ but when Muir visited the spot, 
about ninety years later, the chapel had disappeared.* In 
1876 a stone about 2.% feet long and \o% inches broad, 
bearing Ogham characters, was discovered near the site of 
the chapel by Mr Gilbert Goudie, who presented it to the 
Museum of National Antiquities at Edinburgh.'^ We do 
not know whether St Ninian was ever in Shetland, but he 
is said to have visited Orkney, where we find a trace of 
him in North Ronaldshay styled in the sagas Rinansey — ucj 
St Ringan's Isle. The name assumed its present form by 
way of assimilation to South Ronaldshay, which is not 
Ringan's Isle but Ronald's Isle, called after Earl Rognvald. 
There is a St Ninian's Isle in the river Garnock, in the 
Cunningham district of Ayrshire. 

Another Orcadian island bears the name of St OUa, 

^ Description of Western Isles, p. 153. 

' MuiHs Eccles. Notes, p. 96. 

' Description of the Shetland Isles, p. 456. ^ Western Isles, p. 379. 

' Tour through Orkney and Schetland, p. 188. 

* Eccles. Notes, p. 137. ' P. S. A. Scot., vol. xii. pp. ao-32. 


otherwise Olave, the Norwegian king and martyr, who had 
a church at Whiteness, in Shetland, dedicated to him under 
the curious name of St OUa's Chair.^ The island of St 
Kilda is called after no particular saint, though Buchan^ 
says that the name **is taken from one Kilder, who lived 
here ; and from him the large well, Toubir- Kilda, has also 
its name." Regarding St Kilda Sir Herbert Maxwell re- 
marks : *• There never was a saint of that name, which 
probably represents Oilean celi D6, Isle of the Servants of 
God, or Holy Culdees."* 

St Maelrubha, otherwise St Rufus or Ruffus, who founded 
a monastery at Apurcrossan (Applecross) in Ross-shire in 
673, is still remembered in St RufFus's Isle, some six miles 
south of the site of his monastery, and in Innismaree, one 
of the islands of Loch Maree, the name of island and loch 
representing Maelrubha in an altered form. When describ- 
ing the island. Pennant remarks : '' The shores are neat and 
gravelly ; the whole surface covered thickly with a beautiful 
grove of oak, ash, willow, wicken, birch, fir, hazel, and 
enormous hollies. In the midst is a circular dike of stones, 
with a regular narrow entrance : the inner part has been 
used for ages as a burial-place, and is still in use. The 
curiosity of the place is the well of the saint; of power 
unspeakable in cases of lunacy. The patient is brought 
into the sacred island, is made to kneel before the altar, 
where his attendants leave an offering in money : he is then 
brought to the well, and sips some of the holy water. A 
second offering is made. That done, he is thrice dipped 
in the lake, and the same operation is repeated every day 
for some weeks; and it often happens, by natural causes, 
the patient receives relief, of which the saint receives the 
credit. I must add, that the visitants draw from the state 
of the well an omen of the disposition of St Maree : if his 
well is full they suppose he will be propitious ; if not, they 
proceed in their operations with fears and doubts : but let 
the event be what it will, he is held in high esteem. The 
common oath of the country is by his name. If a traveller 
passes by any of his resting-places they never neglect to 

^ Hibbert's Shetland, p. 460. * Description of St Kilda, p. 5. 

' Scottish Land-Names, p. 91. 


leave an offering; but the saint is so moderate as not to 
put him to any expence, — a stone, a stick, a bit of rag 
contents him."^ 

Carlyle says: ''Man is always venerable to man; great 
men are sure to attract worship or reverence in all ages; 
and in ancient times it is not wonderful that sometimes they 
were accounted as gods." This happened in the case of 
Maelrubha, for a vague tradition lingered in the district that 
he was a god; and it was customary till the latter half of the 
seventeenth century to sacrifice a bull to him in "ane 
heathenish manner in the iland of St Ruffus, comonlie 
called Elian Moury." * Innis-Maree is thus not Mary's Isle, 
as some have supposed. To find St Mary's Isle we have to 
travel south to the neighbourhood of Kirkcudbright, where 
a priory once stood dedicated to the Virgin. 

St Serfs Island, in Loch Leven, extends to about ninety 
acres, and is fully a quarter of a mile distant from Portmoak. 
A priory once stood on the island, and had Andrew de 
Wyntoun, the chronicler, at its head, who says of himself, 
'* I wes made Priowr off the Ynche within Lochlewyne." 
We find a reference to the island in the ninth century, for 
in 842 the Pictish king, Brude, bestowed it on St Serf and 
the Culdee hermits who dwelt there. About a century later 
it was handed over by the Culdees to the Bishop of St 
Andrews. Some two hundred years thereafter the Culdees 
themselves were suppressed, their place being taken by 
Augustinian canons dependent on St Andrews.* After refer- 
ring to- St Serfs connection with Culross, Wyntoun says : — 

" Syne fra Culros he past ewyn 
To the Inche of Lowchlci^yn 

he duelt thare, 

Till se^yn yhere oure-passyd ware." * 

Queen Margaret, wife of Malcolm Canmore, has left her 
name in St Margaret's Inch, now a peninsula on the north 
shore of Forfar Loch. It is " partly artificial, a rampart of 

^ Tour, vol. ti. p. 3J0. 

^ Inverness and Ding^wall Presbytery Records, p. 3j8. 

' Haddan and Stubbs, Ecclesiastical Councils, vol. ii., Part I., p. 227. 

* Cronykil, book v., chap. xii. 



stones and oak-piles still protecting it from the waves. On 
it a castle is supposed at an early period to have stood ; but 
whether or not this was so, there is no doubt that a religious 
house was erected upon it by Alexander II." ^ The queen is 
further recalled at Forfar by Queen Street, the Queen's Well, 
and the Queen's Manor. 

Inch is the form adapted to Lowland speech of the Gaelic 
innisy defined by MacLeod and Dewar, inter alia^ as an 
island, pasture, resting-place for cattle. What were once 
islands in rivers sometimes become meadows, — "green 
margins along the sides of long withdrawing valleys " ; and 
consequently inch, pasture, commonly takes us back to inch, 
island. Inchmichael and Inchmartin, in the Carse of 
Gowrie, are not now islands, though they were probably 
at one time surrounded by water. Canon Isaac Taylor 
mentions that at the former a boat-hook was discovered 
" at a depth of eight ;feet below the soil and twenty feet 
above the present high-water mark."* Inchaffray, in 
Madderty parish, is a ruined abbey on a rising ground 
beside the Pow, the spot having doubtless been once a 
swampy island. It means the Isle of Masses,' and in Latin 
charters is styled " insula missarum." 

We find St Machar's Inch near Aberdeen,* and Inch- 
brayock, an island at the mouth of the South Esk, close to 
Montrose, called after St Brioc, a disciple of St Germanus of 
Auxerre, who flourished about a.d. 500, and gave name to St 
Breock in Cornwall and St Brieux in Brittany. The island, 
together with the adjacent part of the mainland, made up 
the ancient parish of Inchbrayock, united to St Skeoch in 
1618 to form the present parish of Craig. Its church stood 
on the island, and its cemetery is still in use. In the time 
of Robert the Bruce we find charter references to the parson 
of the church, styled rector of the church of St Braoch.* 
St Brioc had a chapel at Newbattle in Mid-Lothian, and 
was joint-patron with the Virgin of the church of Dunrod in 

* Warden's Angus, vol. i. p. 148. * Words and Places, p. 259. 

' Gael, aifrionn^ Lat. offerendum. In Gilbert's charter of A.D. 1200, Inch- 
affray appears as ''Incheafferen quod Latine dicitur Insula missarum." — 
Vide 'Liber Insule Missarum.' 

^ R. M. S.y 1 641. * Liber de Aberbrothoc, vol. i., Pref., p. xxviii. 


Kirkcudbrightshire. He had also a link with Rothesay, the 
parish, as we saw in chap, viii., having been known in 
Gaelic as Cilla'bhruic — i.e., St Brioc's Church. Inchinnan 
parish, where the Cart joins the Clyde near Renfrew, may 
bear St Finan's name, but more probably that of St Inan, a 
confessor whose cultus was popular at Irvine and Beith. 

Inch Kenneth, near Mull, shows the name of St Cainnech 
or Canicus, well known as patron of Kilkenny in Ireland, 
who, according to Bishop Reeves, was born in 517 and died 
in 600. Dean Monro says of Inch Kenneth : " It is a fair 
ile, fertile and fruitful, full of cunnings, about the shores of 
it, with a paroch kirk, the maist parochin being upon the 
main shoar of Mull, being onlie an half myle distant from 
the said ile, and the haill parochin of it pertains to the 
prioress of Colmkill."^ Inchmarnock, to the south-west 
of Bute, had ecclesiastical associations from an early date, 
and still possesses the ruins of a chapel. The island be- 
longed to Saddell Abbey from about 1220 till the Reforma- 
tion. Reeves derives its names from St Ernan of Rathnew, 
in Wicklow, who died in 625, and is commemorated in 
the 'Aberdeen Breviary' on 25th October, where he is 
described as patron of Kilmarnock.^ There is an Inch- 
marnock in the north — an island in the Dee three miles 
below Ballater. Its ancient burying - ground was swept 
away during the memorable flood in 1829, but there is still 
a ruined chapel on the island. 

The picturesque islet of Inchmahome in the Lake of 
Menteith, with its ruined priory and fine old trees, and its 
garden where Queen Mary wandered in her childhood, 
recalls the name of St Colman, otherwise Mocholmog, of 
the sixth century. According to the * Martyrology of 
Donegal,' Colman and Mocholmog are the same; for 
Mocolmog is the Irish devotional name compounded of Mo- 
Columog— i.^., ** my little Colum," or " my beloved Colum." 

^ Description of Western Isles, p. 34. 

' Reeves says : " It may be well to observe that the word Memoc is a 
contraction of Mo-Emin-occ, the prefix denoting* 'my,' and the suffix 
Mittle,' so that the name thus altered conveyed the additional expressions 
of affection and familiarity.*' — Adamnan, p. 251. 

^ P. 148, note. 


In 1296 Inchmahome appears as "Tlsle de St Colmoc."^ 
Inch-Aidan, the old name of Kenmore parish, Perthshire, 
takes our thoughts back to the seventh century, when St 
Aidan was called from lona to Northumbria by King 
Oswald to preach the Christian faith to his pagan subjects. 
Aidan died in 651, and Bede tells how St Cuthbert saw the 
soul of Aidan carried to heaven by angels. The church and 
churchyard of Inch- Aidan were situated at the junction of 
Lyon and Tay, till the middle of the eighteenth century, 
when both were removed and their site was planted with 
trees.* Mr John Christie mentions the following curious 
circumstance which happened prior to the obliteration of 
the churchyard : " Inchadney was used all along as a general 
place of burial irrespective of parishes. According to local 
tradition, the last to be interred there were two persons, 
one of whom had died at Bolfracks, and the other at 
Fearnan ; and to relieve the spirit of either of the departed 
from for ever undergoing the doom of the Faire-chlaoidh^^ 
the relatives arranged that the two burials should take 
place on the same day and at the same hour, and this 
was solemnly carried out.*'^ Eilean-Aidin was the name 
formerly given to the small wooded island in Loch Tay 
close to Kenmore, where are still to be seen the ruins of 
the Augustinian priory founded in 1122 by Alexander I. 
in memory of his wife Sibylla, who was buried on the 

Three islands in Loch Lomond fall to be noticed — ^viz., 
Inchmurrin, Inchcailleach, and Inch - ta - Vannoch. The 
first, formerly known also as Inchmerin, bears the name of 
St Merinus or Mirinus, a disciple of St Congal of Bangor, 
who found his way to the West of Scotland, and is said 
to have died at Paisley, where the abbey was dedicated to 

1 Scottish Place-Names, s,v, *' Inchmahome." 

' Campbell's Book of Garth and Forting^ll, p. 77. 

* In explanation of Faire-chlaoidh, Mr Christie says : *' It was g:enerally 
believed that the spirit of the last person buried hsul to keep watch at the 
entrance to a graveyard until the next burial. The writer was told by an 
eye-witness of a funeral at which the mourners ran with the coffin to be in 
advance of another burial, which was to take place the same day." — *The 
Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside,' p. 17, note. 

^ The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, p. 17. 


him conjointly with St Milburga and St James. At the 
south end of the island are still to be seen the remains of 
a castle belonging to the ancient Earls of Lennox; and 
near it were visible, in 1724, the ruins of St Mirren's Chapel, 
but there is no longer any trace of the building. Inch- 
murrin is beautifully wooded, and is now used as a park 
for fallow-deer.^ Inchcailleach, in Buchanan parish, was 
once itself a parish. It means the Island of the Nun — viz., 
St Kentigerna, sister of St Congan and mother of St Fillan 
of Strathdochart, who made the island her retreat during 
the later years of her life, and died there in 734-* Its 
ancient church was dedicated to her.* Inch-ta-Vannoch 
is a steep island in Luss parish, and means the Island of 
the Monk's House. St Kessog, who flourished in the sixth 
century, is said to have had a hermitage here, and in later 
times the island seems to have been the site of a monastic 
establishment. Its summit is called Tom-na-Clog — i.e., the 
Knoll of the Bell.* Among the islands in Loch Awe is 
Innis-Chonain, a little north of Fraoch Eilean, recalling 
St Congan mentioned above. The island abounds in firs 
and beeches, the successors probably of those under which 
the saint used to wander. 

^ Eraser's The Lennox, vol. i. pp. 44-48. ^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 32. 

' Vide note on the church of Saint Kentigfema Inchcailleach, Loch 
Lomond, by the Rev. William H. MacLeod, B.A., B.D., in Trans. Glasgow 
ArchsBol. Society, New Series, vol. iv. pp. 75-83. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 32. 



Kilbride Lochy isfc. — Lock Connell — Loch IVhinyeon — Lochwinnoch — Loch 
Fergus — St JohrCi Loch — St Helen s — St Germain* s — St TredweWs — 
Loch Maree — Loch Ftnlagan — Cobimkille — Sianta — H(dy Loch — Loch- 
nau'Ceall — Loch Duich — St Margaret* s Hope — Queemferry — Kessock 
Ferry— St Magnuses Bay — St Catherine's Dub^-JcUchattan Bay^ isfc. 
— Sanct Mofettis Bay — Portmabtag^ Isfc, — Portpatrick — Altpatrich — 
St Mirren^s Bum^ isfc, — St Mamoch^s Ford^ iffc, — Amulree — Polman" 
ture — Wallach Pot^ isfc. — Eas^Innian — Ecua^Pheallaidh — St PauPs 
Linn — Aherfeldy — Cambusnethan — Cambusmichaei — Cambuskenneth. 

Various lochs are associated with the names of saints, 
usually in virtue of ancient dedications close to their shores. 
There was once a chapel to St Bridget at Kilbride, now 
Kirkbride, in Keir parish, Dumfriesshire, and near it is 
Kilbride Loch. Loch Patrick is appropriately to be found 
in the Kirkcudbrightshire parish of Kirkpatrick- Durham. 
In Kirkcolm parish, Wigtownshire, is Loch Connell. Kirk- 
colm bears St Columba's name, and Sir Herbert Maxwell 
connects the loch with the saint, on the ground that the 
latter was one of the "Cinel Connaill or Clan Connel." 
Loch Whinyeon, in Girthon parish, is perhaps St Finan's 
or Winnings Lake.^ Lochwinnoch, in Renfrewshire, written 
in addition to a variety of other forms Lochynoc, Loch- 
winnoc, and Lochwhinyeoch, probably also embodies St 
Wynnin's name, the oc being, as Mr Johnston suggests, the 
honorific diminutive. There is some uncertainty as to the 
saint's identity, though he may be Saint Wynnin of Kil- 
winning. The compiler of * The Parish of Lochwinnoch ' 

^ Gall. Top. 


remarks: "There can be little doubt that he belonged to 
Ireland, and was one of those missionary monks who, after 
the time of St Patrick, wandered over land and sea to 
preach the Gospel. At what time he settled in Loch- 
winnoch is unknown ; but there he seems to have settled, 
and to have built his chapel on the west side of the loch, 
and around it there afterwards grew up the kirk-town of 
Lochwinnoch.^ The lake from which Lochwinnoch derives 
its name is Castle-Semple Loch, so called from the residence 
of the Lords Semple, demolished in 1735 to give place to the 
present mansion. Near it was founded, in 1504, by John 
Lord Sempill, a collegiate church for a provost, six chaplains, 
two singing boys, and a sacristan to take the place of 
an earlier foundation believed to have been situated at 
Chapeltown, near the Castle park.^ Loch Fergus, near Kirk- 
cudbright, cannot claim any connection with St Fergus, but 
recalls Fergus, Lord of Galloway in the twelfth century, the 
founder of several monasteries, after whom Loch Fergus, 
four and a half miles south-east of Ayr, is probably also 

To lochs named after the Virgin reference was made in 
chap. XV. St John's Loch, in Dunnet parish, Caithness, 
had anciently a chapel dedicated to St John at its east end. 
Till well on in last century the lake was resorted to, par- 
ticularly on the first Monday of February, May, August, 
and November (O.S.), by invalids, who walked round it, 
bathed, and threw a piece of money into the water.* Some 
of the votive pennies have occasionally been picked up 
within quite recent years. 

St Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, was honoured 
both north and south of the Tweed. The ruined St Helen's 
Kirk in Cockburnspath parish, Berwickshire, is an interesting 
example of her Scottish dedications. A lake at Selkirk was 
called after her. Indeed there must have been more than 
one lake there bearing her name ; for, in the Latin charter 
(of date 1507-8) mentioning the fact, the phrase "Lacus 

1 Archaeolog-ical and Historical Collections of the County of Renfrew, — 
The Parish of Lochwinnoch, vol ii., Introd., p. xx. 
a Ibid., p. xxi. ' Gall. Top., s.v. " Loch Fergus." 

* N. S. A., Caithness, p. 38. 


S. Elene " is in the accusative plural, and not in the nom- 
inative singular.^ Some lands in the same neighbourhood 
were known in 1528 as Sanct Helenis-Schaw — i,e,, Wood.^ 
On Timothy Font's map we find a St Helen's Loch marked 
a little to the south-west of Camelon in Stirlingshire. St 
Germain's Loch, in New Kilpatrick parish, Dumbartonshire, 
suggests the name of St Germanus of Auxerre, who flourished 
in the century after St Helen. St Serfs Water is a small 
loch in Monzievaird and Strowan parish, Perthshire. The 
ancient church of Monzievaird was dedicated to St Serf. 

St Tredwell's Loch, in the Orcadian island of Papa-West- 
ray, has a special interest for the student of folklore, for 
it was believed to turn red when anything striking was 
about to happen to a member of the royal family. And it 
was credited, moreover, with the power of curing disease, 
like St John's Loch already referred to. The Rev. R. M. 
Fergusson, who visited the spot some years ago, remarks : 
" Within St Tredwell's Loch there once stood, upon a low 
rock, an ancient chapel, known as St Tredwel's Chapel, and 
famous for imparting medicinal properties to the waters 
of the loch. In olden times the diseased and infirm people 
of the North Isles were wont to flock to this place, and 
get themselves cured by washing in its waters. Many of 
them walked round the shores two or three times before 
entering the loch itself, to perfect, by so doing, the ex- 
pected cure. When a person was engaged in this peram- 
bulation nothing would induce him to utter a word; for 
if he spoke, the waters of this holy loch would lave his 
diseased body in vain. After the necessary ablutions were 
performed they never departed without leaving behind them 
some piece of cloth or bread, as a gift to the presiding 
genius of the place. In the beginning of the eighteenth 
century popular belief in this water was as strong as ever." * 
The chapel, now in ruins, is twenty-nine feet long and 
twenty-two feet broad, and has walls averaging about four 
feet in thickness. When the rubbish was cleared out several 
years ago, thirty copper coins were discovered on the floor, 
the majority belonging to the reign of Charles II.* 

1 R. M. S., 1424-1513, p. 685. « Ibid., 1513.1546, p. 144. 

° Rambles in the Far North, p. 213. ^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. xvii. p. 137. 


The saint to whom the chapel was dedicated has a variety 
of names, but is best known as Triduana. The chief seat 
of her cultus was Lestalrig, now Restalrig,^ near Edinburgh, 
where, according to the * Martyrology of Aberdeen,' she was 
honourably buried in a royal chapel ("honorifice apud 
Capellam Regiam sepulta'*), and where her shrine was 
distinguished by miracles. To this shrine persons suffering 
from sore eyes, and particularly those who had lost their 
sight, went for cure. Such sufferers, as Sir David Lyndsay 
tells us, went "to Sanct Tredwell, to mend thair ene.*' 
Like St Monenna, St Triduana is said to have plucked out 
her eyes to get rid of the attentions of an obnoxious suitor, 
who had been attracted by their beauty. 

There is some confusion in the legend of St Triduana, 
for she is represented as connected with the mission of both 
St Regulus and St Boniface. The probability is that she 
belonged to the mission of the latter; for we find a trace 
of her in Forfarshire (where Boniface settled) — ^viz., in St 
Triduane's Fair, otherwise St Trodline's, formerly held at 
Rescobie, but long since transferred to Forfar.* We find 
another trace of her in Sutherland, at Kintradwell in Loth 
parish, where there was a chapel dedicated to her. In the 
*Orkneyinga Saga'* she appears as TroUhaena; and we 
are there told that John, Bishop of Caithness, who had 
his eyes put out in 1201 by command of Earl Harold, 
received his sight again at " the resting-place of the holy 

As stated in the previous chapter, Loch Maree, in Ross- 
shire, bears the name of St Maelrubha. The loch is about 
thirteen miles in length, and is believed to have anciently 
formed one sheet of water with Loch Ewe. It is significant 
that the village near the head of Loch Maree is called 
Kinlochewe — i.e., the head of Loch Ewe, the name being 
derived from "an old farm which stretches out along the 
head or upper end of Loch Maree."* 

^ In the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland (vol. xv. p. a86) we read, " Ca|>- 
ellano celebrant! in ecclesia parrochialt de Lestalrigf ad altare Sancte 

* N. S. A., Forfar, p. 610. • P. 197. 

* Hu^h Miller's My Schools and Schoolmasters, p. 257. 


In Islay is Loch Finlagan, so called from a chapel to 
St Finlagan on an island in the loch. Martin says: ''This 
Lake lies in the Center of the Isle. The Isle Finlagan, 
from which this Lake hath its Name, is in it. It's famous 
for being once the Court in which the great Mack-Donald, 
King of the Isles, had his Residence ; his Houses, Chapel, 
&c. are now ruinous."^ St Finloga, who gives name to 
the chapel and loch, was of Irish birth. He was brother 
of St Fintana of Dunblesque, in Limerick, and crossed the 
sea with him to Alban, where he died. He seems to have 
been a contemporary of St Columba.* The latter is repre- 
sented in the name of Loch Columkille,^ in Kilmuir parish, 
Skye, partially drained in 1763, the work being completed 
in 1829. Towards the northern end of what was once 
the bed of this lake is some elevated ground, about 
three acres in extent, formerly called St Columkille's 
Island, and still showing traces of an early ecclesiastical 

In the same parish is the small lake called Loch Sianta 
or Seunta — i.e., the Sacred Loch ; but it is uncertain 
whether the name has pagan or Christian associations. 
The writer of the parish article in the * N. S. A.* ^ observes : 
" The hallowed appearance of the situation did not escape 
the fancy of the ancient Highlanders, whose veneration for 
such places was carried to a ridiculous excess. Owing to 
the crystalline purity of the water, its copiousness, and the 
sequestered situation of this little Hebridean Silvan, they 
conceived it to be favoured with its divinity, to whom, in 
the early ages of darkness and ignorance, they were ex- 
tremely punctual in making offerings of various kinds. 
Invalids always resorted thither, and imagined that they 
were benefited by drinking of its water, and by thoroughly 
washing themselves in a bath erected for the purpose." 
Martin says that the trout in the lake were, for superstitious 
reasons, never caught, and that not far off was a small 

* Western Isles, p. 240. ^ Reeves' Adamnan, p. 275. 

' Part of Portree Bay, Skye, is called Loch Columkille ; and Martin 
describes Loch Erisort, Lewis, as ''within the Bay call'd Loch Colmkill." 
— 'Western Isles,' p. 4. 

^ Adamnan, p. 275. ^ Inverness, p. 245. 



copse of which " none of the Natives dare venture to cut 
the least Branch, for fear of some signal Judgment to follow 
upon it." * 

Holy Loch, in the Firth of Clyde, was so called from its 
proximity to St Munna's religious foundation at Kilmun; 
and Loch-nan-ceall, in Mull, derived its name from the 
churches along its shores, the name signifying the Loch 
of the Churches. Loch Duich, in Ross-shire, an arm of 
the sea extending from the head of Lochalsh, five and a 
half miles south-eastward, bears the name of St Duthac, a 
Scottish bishop who was trained in Ireland, and died in 
1065. His church at Lochalsh stood at Kilduich, at the 
head of the loch. 

About the time of Duthac's death, Margaret, grand-niece 
of Edward the Confessor, fled from Northumbria with her 
brother, Edgar Atheling, her mother and her sister, and 
landed on the Fife coast at a bay near Inverkeithing, called 
afterwards, in honour of her, St Margaret's Hope. There 
is another St Margaret's Hope in the Orcadian island of 
South Ronaldshay, with a village of the same name at the 
head of the Hope, thirteen miles south of Kirkwall. Re- 
garding the Fife example just mentioned. Major remarks: 
** Edgar Atheling, king of the English, having at heart the 
misfortunes of his country, took ship with his mother, his 
sister, and his whole household, desiring to return to the 
land of his birth. Tossed by contrary winds, he was driven 
on the Scottish shores at a place which, for that reason, 
is called by the inhabitants St Margaret's Bay. But king 
Malcolm, learning they were English people, went down 
to the ships ; for he spoke the English tongue like his own, 
which at that time was a rare thing for a Scot. After long 
converse with her, and the performance of many kind offices, 
the daughter of the king of England, Margaret by name, by 
reason of her gifts at once of mind and her outward charm, 
won such favour with Malcolm that he took her to wife." * 
Queensferry North and South, known in charter Latin as 
" Passagium Sancte Margarite regine," bears witness to the 
frequent crossings made by the Queen between Dunfermline, 

^ Western Isles, p. 141. * Greater Britain, pp. 125, 126. 


where her husband held his court, and Edinburgh, which, 
though an important stronghold, was not then the capital 
of Scotland, and did not become so till some four centuries 
later.^ A small sheet of water near Arthur's Seat is known 
as St Margaret's Loch, and not far off is St Margaret's 
Well, covered by an elaborate stone structure believed 
to date from the twelfth century. This structure stood 
formerly at Restalrig, but was removed to its present site 
last century.* Kessock Ferry, near Inverness, bears witness 
to St Kessock, otherwise MacKessock, who was patron of 
Luss in the Lennox, and of whom there are traces at 
Callander and Comrie. 

In 1115 Earl Magnus of Orkney, as we saw in chap, 
xvii., was treacherously slain by his cousin Hak6n at an 
interview on the island of Egilshay. He was buried first in 
Egilshay, and then in Birsay, where, according to the belief 
of the people, miracles were wrought at his tomb. His last 
resting-place was at Kirkwall, where St Magnus's Cathedral 
was built for the reception of his relics. In the time of 
Boece there was a tradition that, on the day when Ban- 
nockburn was won, St Magnus rode into Aberdeen, clad in 
shining armour, to announce the Scottish victory. Accord- 
ing to a later tradition, he reappeared on the day of fatal 
Flodden, landing from Orkney at Auchmedden at an inlet 
called afterwards St Magnus's Haven, which he is said to 
have blessed so that no boat belonging to it should be lost 
at sea.' Better known is St Magnus's Bay, a spacious 
inlet on the west coast of Shetland, running nearly fourteen 
miles into the land, and having at the south of its broad 
entrance the island of Papa-Stour. In one of the creeks 
near the parish manse of Slains, Aberdeenshire, is a pool 
styled by the fishermen St Catherine's Dub, from a tradi- 
tion that the Saint Catharine — one of the vessels of the 
Spanish Armada — ^was wrecked there in 1588.* 

Certain bays are called after ancient dedications to be 
found on their shores. Thus the Bays of Kilchattan, Bute ; 

' Perth was the capital till 1483. 

* P. S. A. Scot., vol. xvii. pp. 177-182. 

' Collections, Aberdeen and BanfF, p. 446 and note. 

* Pratt's Buchan, p. 32. 


Kilmaluag, Skye; Kilfinan, Lochfyne; Kilchoan, Ardna- 
murchan ; and Kilpatrick or Drumidoon, Arran, have or 
had chapels named after Chattan, Luag» Finan, Congan, 
and Patrick respectively. St John's Haven, Tarbat parish, 
Ross-shire ; St Lawrence's Bay, Greenock ; and St Ninian's 
Bay, Bute, are also believed to have had chapels in their 
immediate neighbourhood dedicated to the saints from 
whom they derived their names. The cultus of St Fiacre 
or Fittock, an Irishman of the eighth century who settled 
in France, was popular at Nigg in Kincardineshire, where 
there are still a burying-ground and a well bearing his name. 
Nigg Bay was formerly known variously as St Ficker's Bay, 
Sandy Fittick Bay, San Fittick's Bay, and " Sanct Mofettis- 
bey," the last form having the honorific ma or mo prefixed 
to the saint's name. 

We find the Gaelic port, a port or harbour, in such 
names as Portmaluag, Lismore — St Luag's Harbour ; Port- 
maholmack, Tarbat — St Colman's Harbour; Port Ronan, 
lona — St Ronan's Harbour ; and Port-a-Churaich in the same 
island, the Harbour of the Currach, where St Columba is 
said to have landed from his currach or hide-bound boat. 
At Port-a-Churaich is an artificial mound, about fifty feet 
in length, shaped like a boat, with the keel up, said by 
tradition to represent the size of Columba's boat.^ New- 
haven, so called to distinguish it firom Leith, was made the 
site of a dock for shipbuilding by James IV. ; and there, 
in I5ii> was built the Michael, *^ ane varie monstrous great 
schipe." A chapel was founded for the accommodation 
of the sailors and workmen connected with the dock. It 
was dedicated to Our Lady and St James, and gave to the 
place the alternative name of Port of Our Lady of Grace.* 
Portmoak, in Kinross-shire, recalls St Moan or Moach, 
about whom little is known beyond the fact that he was 
associated with St Brendan, whom he advised to make a 
missionary voyage among the Northern Isles. In 1243 
Bishop David de Bernham consecrated the church of 
Portmoak, and dedicated it to St Moan in conjunction with 

^ O. S. A., vol. xiv. p. 203. 

^ Stotherd's Parochial and Collegiate Antiquities of Edinburgh, Last 
Series, p. 129. 


St Stephen the Martyr.^ St Brendan gave name to a 
haven at Boyndie, near Banff, styled in a charter of 1527 
" Sanct Brandan's Hawyn." ' Portpatrick, in Wigtownshire, 
is identified with the name of Ireland's patron saint. In a 
quarry there, whence stone was procured for the harbour 
works, once flowed a spring dedicated to St Patrick, and 
on or near the site of the old parish church stood an earlier 
building known as Chapel Patrick. There are two local 
traditions relating to the famous apostle of Ireland. One 
is that he stepped across the Channel at a single stride and 
left the mark of his foot on a rock, removed, however, when 
the harbour was being made. The other is that the saint, 
having been beheaded somewhere about Glen App in Ayr- 
shire, walked to Portpatrick with his head under his arm, 
but, not finding a boat to take him to Ireland, he grasped 
his head in his teeth and swam across. 

Streams are sometimes associated with the names of 
saints. Altpatrick, in Paisley parish, means St Patrick's 
stream, the prefix being Gaelic allt, a stream. Near Fort 
William is Aultkieran, recalling St Kieran. In Paisley 
parish we find St Mirren's Bum and St Martin's Burn. 
St Bride's Burn, in Kilbarchan parish, derived its name 
from a chapel to St Bridget, whose site was long marked 
by an ash-tree a little to the west of the entrance to St 
Bride's Mill House.^ Polnar Burn, flowing into the Don 
past the burying- ground of Polnar Chapel, in Inverurie 
parish, recalls St ApoUinaris of Ravenna, to whom the 
chapel was dedicated. At Luncarty is St Fillan's Bum. 
St Fillan is also remembered in the river Fillan, flowing 
through StrathfiUan in Killin parish. It rises on Benloy 
at a height of 2980 feet, and, after a course of fully eleven 
miles, enters Loch Dochart, whence it passes as the river 
Dochart into Loch Tay. The Rev. J. G. Campbell gives 
the following item of local folk-lore relative to the saint: 
"An Urisk haunting Beinn Doohrain (a hill beloved of 
the Celtic muse), on the confines of Argyllshire and Perth- 
shire, stayed in summer time near the top of the hill, and 
in winter came down to the straths. A waterfall near the 

^ Kal., s,v. " Moanus." * ReST* ^^ Aberbrothoc, vol. ii. p. 467. 

' Lochwinnoch, vol. i. p. 6^ note. 


village of Clifton and Tyndrum, where it stayed on these 
occasions, is still called Eas na h-ilniisg, the U risk's 
Cascade. It was encountered by St Fillan, who had his 
abode in a neighbouring strath, and banished to Rome."^ 
In the parishes of Luss and Arrochar is Trostane rivulet, — 
a reminiscence, perhaps, of St Drostan, Trostan being one 
of the forms of the saint's name. In Glen Lyon is Alt- 
Bhrachdain, a burn called after St Brachdaidh, whom Mr 
Duncan Campbell identifies with St Brioc* In a fifteenth- 
century charter, describing the boundaries of certain lands 
at Ellon belonging to the Bishop of Aberdeen, "Saynt 
Manynis Bum " is mentioned,^ recalling the saint who gives 
name to St Monan's in Fife. St Mary's Burn, otherwise 
Lady Burn, flows into the Eden at the eastern end of Cupar, 
in the last- mentioned shire. Cupar had at one time a 
Dominican monastery dedicated to the Virgin, and there 
is still a Lady Wynd in the burgh, at the end of which was 
the Lady Port. In Galston parish is Bum Ann, which may 
possibly be St Ann's Burn ; but facts are wanting to settle 
the point. The church of Galston was dedicated to St 
Peter, and there was a chapel to St Mary in Galston 
tower;* and one would not be surprised to find a trace 
of St Ann in the same locality. In Houston parish is St 
Peter's Burn, so named from the titular of the church. 
Kevoch Burn, in Eaglesham parish in the same shire, is 
thought by Bishop Forbes to reflect the name of the saint 
commemorated in the Ayrshire parish of St Quivox.* 
Colonel White is probably correct when he connects Kerran 
Water in Kintyre, joining the Conieglen about a mile above 
Kilblane, with the name of St Kieran.* In St Boswell's 
parish, Roxburghshire, is St Boswell's Bum, a tributary 
of the Tweed. In Neilston parish, Renfrewshire, is Kirkton 
Stream, running into the Levern. Corsehill Burn separates 
the parishes of Dunlop and Stewarton in Ayrshire. At 
Salen, in Torosay parish, Mull, are the ruins of a building 
said to have been connected with the monastery of lona. 

^ Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, p. 196. 

* Book of Garth and Fortingall, p. 61. 

' Reg. Episc. Aberdeen, vol. i. p. 248. * Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 517. 

* Kal., s.v. " Kevoca." • Archaeol. Sketches, Kintyre, p. 90. 


A rivulet running past it is called the Preacher's Burn, — 
in Gaelic, Ald-an-tsearmaniche, — ^the preacher in this case 
having been, according to local tradition, St Columba.^ 

Fords in rivers sometimes retain the names of saints. 
St Mamoch left his name in a ford over the Deveron, close 
to the old burying-ground in Marnoch parish, Banffshire; 
and St John's Ford is found in the same parish about two 
miles below the Bridge of Marnoch.* Tanglan's Ford, in 
the Ythan in Tarves parish, Aberdeenshire, recalls St 
Englat, a tenth-century saint, to whom the church of the 
parish was dedicated.' Ath-Bhrannaidh in Glen Lyon, a 
little to the east of Garth House, means the Ford of St 
Brandan,^ ath being Gaelic for a ford. Lyon Bridge spans 
another ford, locally known as Ath- Math- Grioma, from 
St Griom or Grioma, a saint of uncertain date.^ Amulree, 
in the Perthshire Highlands, about half-way between Crieff 
and Aberfeldy, signifies the Ford of St Maelrubha. The 
ford in question crosses the Bran, and traces of it may still 
be seen close to the bridge which now spans the river. 
When General Wade was in the Highlands constructing 
roads and bridges (between 1720 and 1730) he considered 
the Amulree ford so good that he thought a bridge there 

Polmanuire, in the Dee near Crathie, recalls the name 
of St Miniar or Niniar, to whom the church of Crathie was 
dedicated. He is described by Camerarius as bishop and 
confessor, and is said to have died in 824.^ On Alt-Odhar, 
at Fortingall in Perthshire, is a pool known as Linne-a- 
Fhiachre, where St Fiacre, already referred to, is said to 
have baptised his converts. Mr Charles Stewart remarks: 
** Fortingall became a vicarage, and it has been supposed 
— not altogether without probability— that the proper name 
of the pool is the * Vicar's Pool.' This, however, is con- 
tradicted by the pronunciation, which in this case would 

* N. S. A., Argyll, p. 287. * Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 234. 
' Dr Temple's Thanage of Feniiartjm,.p. 370. 

* An ancient buiying-- ground beside the Spey in Knockando parish is 
called Pulvrenan, probably St Brandan or Brendan's Pool. 

^ Campbell's Book of Garth and Fortingall, p. 67. 
' Kal.fS.v. '*Maninis." 


be Linne-a-Bhiocar, and not Linne-a-Fhiachre, as it un- 
doubtedly is." Mr Stewart adds: "To this I can testify, 
being intimately acquainted since infancy with the pool and 
its surroundings." ^ In the same neighbourhood are PoU-a- 
Chiaran and Ath-a-Chiaran, respectively the Pool and the 
Ford of St Ciaran. There were two saints called Ciaran, 
but it is not clear to which of them these were dedicated. 
At Foss, on the other side of the hill from Fortingall, is 
PoU-Cheodan — i.e., the Pool of St Cedd, who preached 
Christianity in Perthshire in the early part of the seventh 
century prior to becoming a bishop among the East Saxons. 
He was brother of St Chad and a friend of St Aidan of 
Northumbria, all of whom are commemorated in Breadalbane. 
Close to Walla Kirk in Glass parish, where a footbridge 
crosses the Deveron, is a pool in the river, some fourteen 
feet deep, locally known as Wallach Pot, so called from 
St Wallach, the patron saint of the district, whose holy well 
in the neighbourhood was formerly much resorted to in 
the month of May. Near Tyndrum is the Holy Pool of 
St Fillan, in the river Fillan referred to above. It used 
to be much frequented for its supposed curative virtues, 
particularly in cases of insanity. Patients of this class, 
after being dipped in the water, were tied all night to a 
certain stone at St Fillan's ruined priory, about half a mile 
distant, under the belief that if in the morning the bonds 
were found loose, recovery would ensue: but if not, the 
case was hopeless, or at any rate doubtful. According to 
a local tradition, the Holy Pool lost its efl&cacy through a 
farmer having plunged his mad bull into the water in the 
hope that the beast would be cured.* In the Tyne, hear 
East Linton in Haddingtonshire, is a rapid called St 
Baldred's Whirl, named after St Baldred of the Bass ; and 
in the Tweed, near the site of the monastery of Old Melrose, 
is an eddy known as the Haly Wheel — t.^.. Holy Whirlpool. 
On the Burn of the Corrie of Flowers descending to the 
Lyon is a series of waterfalls styled Eas-Innian — i.e., the 
Cascade of St Ninian. One of these rapids used to be 
known as Easa-Pheallaidh — i.^., the Waterfall of St Pal- 

^ Gaelic Kingdom in ScoUand, pp. 58, 59. 

' Vide Folk-Lore of Scottish Lochs and Springs, pp. 1 19-127. 


ladius, who is believed to have inhabited a mountain- 
sheiling in the same district, the place being still known 
as Ruidhe Pheallaidh, the Sheiling of St Palladius. On 
the Dunning Burn, which flows into the Earn, is a linn 
known as St Paul's Linn, where St Serf, the patron of the 
parish, is said to have baptised his converts. The pool 
below the linn is called Pauley. The Rev. R. S. Clazy 
of Dunning is probably correct when he connects the name 
of the place with St Palladius, who, according to the 
* Aberdeen Breviary,' ordained St Serf in the first half 
of the fifth century. Aberfeldy, in Strath-Tay, signifies 
in Gaelic the Confluence of Palladius, who gave name to 
a rock in the neighbouring Den of Moness, known as 
Castail Pheailaidh. Holy Linn, one of the picturesque 
cascades of the Garple Burn, in Kirkcudbrightshire, is said 
to have derived its name since the Reformation from the 
fact that there the ejected minister of the parish, in per- 
secuting times, occasionally baptised the children of his 

Cambusnethan parish, Lanarkshire, is probably the bend 
of St Nechtan, otherwise Nathalan, from Gaelic camus^ a 
bay or bend. Its old church was built "at the south- 
western extremity of the parish beside a fine curving reach 
or camtis of the Clyde." * The Nethan stream, flowing past 
the ruins of Craignethan Castle, joins the Clyde, not, how- 
ever, in Cambusnethan parish, but at Crossford, in Les- 
mahagow parish. Cambusmichael, an ancient parish of 
Perthshire, united to St Martin's towards the end of the 
seventeenth century, was dedicated to St Michael the Arch- 
angel. The ruins of its church are still be seen on level 
ground close to a great bend of the Tay. Cambuskenneth, 
across the Forth from Stirling, probably signifies the Bend 
of St Kenneth, one of Columba's friends.* The place is 
best known through its connection with the richly en- 

^ N. S. A., Kirkcudbright, p. loo. ^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 57. 

' Kenneth the king has been connected with Cambuskenneth. His claims 
are thus somewhat vaguely set forth in the ' N. S. A.' (Stirling, p. 425) : 
'* The name signifies the Field of Kenneth, the adjacent grounds having 
been, it would seem, the scene of some transaction in which one of the 
princes of that name was concerned." 


dowed abbey of St Mary, founded by David I. in 1147. The 
monastic buildings were wellnigh pulled down in I559, and 
about eleven years later the stones of the church were taken 
away by John, Earl of Mar, to build Mar's Work in Stirling ; 
but the massive four-storied tower, seventy feet high, still 
remains. " The site of this solitary tower," observes Mac- 
kenzie Walcott, "is most beautiful, almost surrounded by 
the windings of the Forth, and fine trees ; whilst the grand 
elevation of Stirling on its commanding height, with many 
spires, a castle, and the steeple of the Grey Friar's Church 
on the south, and the wooded Abbey Crag on the east, 
partly frame the view."^ 

^ Scoti-Monasticon, p. 300. 



Halyhiii—St Andrew^s — St JohtCs — St MtcbaeVs — Cnoc-an-Asngel— 
Casrtt Cul^rt'Eirmn — Magdalene HiU — St Leonardos — St Alexander*! 

—St Mungo*s, isTc Remy—St Eddran's Slack— Trusty' s HiU^ tsfc. 

—St Catiferine\ is^c Barry— St Cobn's Hillock— Sacel-hiU— 

Norrie's Law — St Serfs — Torr Beatban — Knockeman^ Isfc. — Knock 
Mtdreesh — Knock Fergan — Tom~Eunan — Tom ^na^ Ckessaig — Ard" 
fatrickf isfc. — Ardeonaig — Ernfillan^ isfc, — Ben Bhraggie — Bein 
Domchf tsfc. — Ardkennetb — Dutiamy — Drumoak — St Nicholas Craig^ 

iSfc — Dunblane— Suidbe Cbatain^ iffc. — St Abb*s Head^ Isfc A/«-- 

bead—St Cutbherfs Holm^ £fff. — Magdalen Green — St Jobn*s Valley^ 
Isfc, — Logierait — Laggan — Bancbory — St Ninian's Den — Ringan's 
Dean — HaUedean — St Martin's Den — ** Brannan How " — Glenfinnan 
— St Catberine*s of tbe Hopes — Dragon's Den^ Dunning — St Sare's 
Bankf Monkeigie. 

In the two previous chapters some account was given of 
islands, lakes, streams, fords, and pools, identified with our 
early saints. In the present chapter it is proposed to notice 
certain hills, headlands, fields, and hollows whose names 
have a similar origin. 

The Halyhill, overhanging the Water of May to the west 
of the Perthshire village of Forteviot, takes our thoughts 
back to the eighth century, when, at Forteviot, — then a 
stronghold of the Pictish kings, — a church was founded by 
the three sons of Angus, son of Fergus, and dedicated to St 
Andrew. The same apostle was commemorated in St 
Andrew's Hill, in Rayne parish, Aberdeenshire, where he 
was patron of the church, and was also remembered in 
Andersmas Fair, held at Kirktown. There is a St Andrew's 
Hill, otherwise called Ander Hill, on the east side of the 
island of Bressay in Shetland. Some land at Barras, in 


Kinneff parish, Kincardineshire, belonged to the Hos- 
pitallers ; and a chape], dedicated to their patron St John, 
stood at the foot of a hill called, from it, St John's Hill.^ 

The parish of St Michael-Tarvit, in Fife, united to Cupar 
in 1618, had its ancient church on a conical eminence called 
St Michael's Hill; but the building is now gone, and the 
hill is planted with trees. In the 'R, M. S.,' under date 
1606, we read of certain lands near Stirling called " Sanct- 
Michaellis-Hill " ; and in the * Registrum de Panmure,* in 
the year 1662, of the lands of St Michaelhill in the barony 
of Brechin and Navaar. Ardmichael (St Michael's Height) 
is in South Uist, and in Kells parish is Craig Michael (St 
Michael's Rock). 

The inhabitants of lona were accustomed, in Pennant's 
time, to drive their horses on Michaelmas round a certain 
hill to the west of the island.* This hill — a green eminence 
measuring about 167 paces at the base — is known as the 
Angel's Hill (in Gaelic, Cnoc-an-Aingel), having received 
its name, according to tradition, from a throng of white- 
robed angels that visited St Columba on its summit.^ 
Reeves says: "The name Cnoc-an-Aingel is locally pre- 
served, and is marked on Graham's map of the island ; but 
that by which it is more familiarly known is Sithean Mor, 
or Great Fairy -hill, as distinguished from Sithean Beg, 
Little Fairy- hill, which lies a short way north-west from 
it." It at one time had a circle of stones on the top/ 
Another eminence in lona connected with St Columba is 
Cairn Cul-ri-Eirinn, in the south of the island. It means 
the Cairn of the Back turned towards Ireland, and was so 
called from the circumstance that Columba could not catch 
a glimpse from it of his native land. Bishop Reeves men- 
tions that there is a Carn Cul-ri-Erin in Colonsay, and that 
** in an old map of Mull the hill Cruachan Garv is marked 
with a cross on the top, on the north side of which is 
written * Kam Cul-ri-Albayn,' and on the south, * Kam Cul- 
ri-Erin.' " 

Magdalene Hill, near Perth, locally called Maidlen Hill, 

^ Jervise's Land of the Lindsays, p. 399, note. 

* Tour, vol. ii. p. 259. ' Adamnan, lib. iii. cap. xvii. 

^ Ibid., p. 293. 


owes its name to a hospital anciently dedicated to St Mary 
Magdalene^ and granted by James I. to the Carthusian mon- 
astery founded by him at Perth in 1429.* St Leonard's Hill 
at Dunfermline recalls a hospital dedicated to the saint of 
that name. There is a St Leonard's Hill near Banff.* The 
hill of St Alexander^ in Dunipace parish, is referred to in a 
charter circa 1190; and in a Stirlingshire Retour of 1582 
mention is made of the lands belonging to St Alexander's 
chapel, and of a wood called Sanct Alexander's Cuthil, both 
in the same district ; but we know little about the saint in 
question. Camerarius mentions a St Alexander, son of a 
Scottish king, who, along with his sister Mathildis, went to 
France, where he entered a Cistercian monastery. There 
are few traces of his cultus in Scotland. Forbes states that 
a fair of St Alexander was held at Keith in Banffshire.^ 

We are on surer ground in connection with St Mungo's 
Hill, near Huntly in Aberdeenshire, suggesting Mungo, 
otherwise Kentigern, of Strathclyde, whose name it is in- 
teresting to find so far north. Bridget of Kildare gives 
name to St Bride's Hill in Wauchopdale, Dumfriesshire. 
In Keir parish is the Ridge of Kilbride, called, like the loch 
of the same name, from a chapel to St Bridget in its 
neighbourhood. Rennyhill, otherwise Irnie Hill, is an 
estate in Kilrenny parish, Fife, and is perhaps connected 
with St Ethernan, whose name occurs in an altered form 
in Saint Eddran's Slack, a den in Rathen parish, Buchan, 
to the east of Mormond Hill, where the saint is said to 
have had a hermitage.^ 

Trusty's Hill in Anwoth parish, like Bardrestan, Bar- 
dristan, and Bartrostan in the parishes of Urr, Kirkmabreck, 
and Penninghame respectively, embodies, according to Sir 
Herbert Maxwell, St Drostan's name, the prefix in the last 
three being Gaelic barr, a top.* There is reason to believe 
that St Drostan also gives name to Trostan Hill in Straiton 
parish, Ayrshire, at the foot of which once stood a chapel. 

One of the three hills on which Aberdeen is built is called 
St Catherine's Hill, from a chapel to St Catherine founded 

^ Fittis*s Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 274. 

* Pococke's Tours in Scotland, p. 195. ' Kal., s,v, <* Alexander." 

^ Collections, Aberdeen and Banff, p. 133. ^ Gall. Top. 


in the thirteenth century by the Constable of Aberdeen. 
Early last century the larger part of the hill was removed 
to open up a communication between Union Street and 
Castlegate.* Tillydrone, not far from the cathredral of Old 
Aberdeen^ is otherwise known as St Thomas- ^-Becket's 
Hill. According to one tradition it was formed of creelfuls 
of earth brought thither by penitents. Another tradition is 
given by Orem, who says : " The said hill of Tilliedron was 
artificially built by King Robert's soldiers, as men acquainted 
with antiquities relate ; which seems to have been designed 
for a watch-guard, for the use of his army when they lay 
here: and thereafter the clergy who lived in the chanonry 
kept a watch or guard on it in troublesome times, that they 
might not be surprised suddenly by their enemies."^ 

In the Forfarshire parish of Inverarity is Lawrence Hill, 
probably so named from St Lawrence the Mart3rr. In Aljrth 
parish are Chapel Hill and Barryhill, the latter recalling 
St Berach, titular of Kilberry in Argyll, and founder of a 
monastery at Cluain-Choirpthe in Ireland, now Kilbarry, 
county Roscommon. Barryhill is probably the same as the 
place called Dunbarre in Angus by Bellenden, where there 
was a ''castell of quhilk nathing remains now bot the prent 
of the wallis." Bellenden says that Guanora, wife of King 
Arthur, after the death of her husband was brought to this 
castle, and remained there for the rest of her life.' There is 
a Berryhill farm in Auchtergaven parish, and on its boundary 
a chapel once stood. 

Near Stuartfield, in Old Deer parish, Aberdeenshire, is a 
rising-ground now called the Chapel Hillock, but formerly 
St Colm's Hillock. Tradition says that vestiges of buildings 
were once to be seen on the spot.* According to the 
*N. S. A.,**^ Sacel-hill, near Paisley, received its name ft-om 
a pre-Reformation sacellum or chapel which stood at the 
foot of the hill, and gave name to a small cluster of houses 
known as " the chapel." 

The Anglo-Saxon lawy a hill, is found in Norrie's Law, an 

^ Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. pp. 57, 58. 

* Description of the Chanonry of Old Aberdeen, p. 107. 
' Chronicles of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 86. 

* Pratt's History of Buchan, p. 128. * Renfrew, p. 159, note. 


artificial mound in Largo parish, where quantities of silver 
ornaments bearing curious patterns were discovered about 
the year 1817.^ Forbes connects this Law with a saint 
called Norie, who had a chapel at Little Leny, in Callander 
parish, but regarding whom nothing is known.* We find St 
Serfs Laws, otherwise St Servants Laws, in the barony of 
Abercorn, West-Lothian, named in a charter of date 1546.* 

The Gaelic torr, a conical hill, gives us Torr Beathan, or, 
in its aspirated form, Torvean, near Inverness, named after 
St Baitan, Columba's cousin, who succeeded him as Abbot 
of lona in 597.* Cnoc, another Gaelic word for a hill, is 
represented in Cnoc Odhrain — i.e., St Oran's Hill, in the 
island just named. It appears also in Knockeman (in 
Kirkcowan parish), St Ernan's Hill, and in Knockie 
Fountain in Old Luce parish, perhaps St Fintan's Hill, 
which Sir Herbert Maxwell compares with Challoch Munn 
in the same parish — ue., Tulach Munna, the Hill of St 
Munna, another name for Fintan. Sir Herbert thinks 
that Knockmilauk in Whithorn parish is perhaps the Hill 
of St Moluag, whose name apparently occurs in the Howe 
Hill of Haggamalag, in the same parish. 

Knock Mulreesh, in Islay, is believed to be the Hill of 
St Maol-rise, another name for St Finlagan, whose ancient 
chapel, called Cill Fheileagan, is in its neighbourhood. In 
Coylton parish, Ayrshire, is Knock Mirren, the Hill of St 
Mirren, whom we meet with in Glenmeran (Gaelic Gleann- 
Meurain), in the district of Glen Lyon,^ where one is 
interested to find a trace of Paisley's patron saint. Knock 
Fergan, in Kirkmichael parish, Banffshire, recalls St 
Fergus, who died at Glammis in the eighth century. On 
the south-east side of the hill is Fergan Well. A local 
legend, which says that the spring was once in Italy, 
probably points in a confused way to the saint's visit to 
Rome. With Knock Fergan may be compared TuUyfergus, 
in Bendochy parish, Perthshire. 

Tom-Eunan, close to Loch Insch in Inverness-shire, is a 

^ Wilson's Prehistoric Annals of ScoUand, vol. ii. pp. 220, 250-263. 

« Kal., s.v, " None." » R. M. S. 

^ P. S. A. Scot., vol. xvi. p. 267. 

' Campbell's Book of Garth and Forttngall, pp. 70, 71. 


wooded eminence on which stands the parish church of 
Insch, and means the Knoll of Adamnan. The church is a 
very old one, and contains a quadrangular Celtic bell 
associated with the cultus of the saint. According to a 
local tradition the bell was once removed, but kept calling 
out " Tom-Eunan ! Tom-Eunan ! " till restored to its proper 
resting-place.^ Tom-ma-Chessoig or Tom-na-Chessaig, at 
Callander, the site of the old church, signifies the Knoll of 
St Kessog. Tradition says that butts were formerly placed 
there for the practice of archery.* A local market was held 
annually in March under the name of Feill-ma-Chessaig — 
i.e., St Kessog's festival. Comrie, too, had a St Kessack's 
Fair, and still has a Tom-na-Chessaig.^ 

Ardpatrick, the Height of St Patrick, is a hamlet and a 
headland at the south-west corner of Knapdale, Argyll. 
Tradition says that the headland was the landing-place of 
St Patrick when on his way from Ireland to lona. Craig- 
phadrick, St Patrick's Rock, noted for the vitrified fort on 
its summit, is near Inverness ; and Cairn Pat, St Patrick's 
Cairn, is appropriately to be found in Portpatrick parish; 
while in Dairy parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, is Stroanpatrick 
(Gaelic Sron-Patraic), St Patrick's Promontory. Ardeonaig, 
on the south shore of Loch Tay, means St Adamnan's 
Height, — Eonaig being a variant of Eonan, and both cor- 
ruptions of Adamnan. Barlenan, in Kirkcowan parish, 
means the top of St Adamnan, if Reeves is correct in re- 
garding Lennan as a strangely modified form of the saint's 

Ernfillan, in Crossmichael parish, is thought by Sir 
Herbert Maxwell to correspond to Ard-an-Fillain, St Fillan's 
Height. It may be compared with Penfillan in Keir parish, 
Dumfriesshire, where the prefix looks like the Cymric pen^ 
a head, cognate with Gaelic ceann. In Strathearn we have 
Dunfillan, from Gaelic dun^ a hill. Ben Bhraggie (Gaelic 
Beinn Bhrach daidh), near Golspie in Sutherland, means 
the Hill of St Brachdaidh, whom Mr Duncan Campbell 
identifies with Brioc, a disciple of Germanus of Auxerre,* 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, pp. 195, 196. 

*' O. S. A., vol. xi. p. 609. ' Chronicles of Strathearn, p. 37. 

* Kal., 5.V. " Lennan." ^ Book of Garth and Fortingall, p. 65. 


and whose name, he thinks, is to be found in Brachtie, part 
of the lands of TuUiebole in Kinross-shire. According to 
Mr Johnston, Ben Eunaich, near Dalmally, commemorates 
St Adamnan. Bein Donich, in Lochgoilhead parish, recalls 
St Donan of Eigg, and so does Cairndonnan in Kirkcolm 
parish, as well as Slewdonnan in Kirkmaiden parish, where 
the prefix is Gaelic sliabh, a moor, or moory hill. Ard- 
michael, a headland in South Uist, marked by an old burying- 
ground, signifies the Height of St Michael. There is a 
reminiscence of St Kenneth in Ardkenneth, St Kenneth's 
Height, also in South Uist. We find him likewise in 
Galloway, for Cairn-Kennagh in New Luce parish, Cairn 
Kenny in the same parish, with another in Inch parish, and 
Cairn Kinna in Minigaff parish, all signify the Cairn of St 
Kenneth. Arduthia, at Stonehaven, is thought by Bishop 
Forbes to recall St Duthac of Tain.^ In Kilfinnan parish, 
Argyll, not far from the sea, is a field known as Ardmarnock 
— i.e., the Height of St Marnock — with a graveyard and 
ruined chapel. Some 300 yards away are, or were, the 
remains of a small ancient building, the reputed cell of the 
saint, to which, according to tradition, he retired for 
purposes of penance.* 

Dunbarny in Perthshire, written Drumbernin circa 1150, 
probably means the Hill of St Brendan,* though Mr John- 
ston makes it the Hill with the Gap, from Gaelic beam, a 
cleft. The saint had undoubtedly some connection with 
the district, for in the adjoining parish of Abernethy is 
Brendan's Well, popularly styled " Brendi Well."* Aber- 
nethy had a link with the Nine Maidens, daughters of St 
Donevald of the Den of Ogilvy, who dwelt by the Earn 
after their father's death, and were buried there at the foot 
of a large oak, much resorted to by pilgrims in pre- 
Reformation times.* The cultus of St Mazota, otherwise 
Mayot, said to be the eldest of the nine, found its way to 
Deeside, — Drumoak, the Ridge of St Mayot (from Gaelic 
druim, the back), having been named after her. Dalmaock, 
the alternative name of Drumoak, means the Field of St 

* Kal., s,v. " Duthac." * O. S. A., vol. xiv. p. 258. 

» Kal., s.v, ** Brendan." 

^ Rev. D. BuUer's Abernethy Parish, p. 102. ' Ibid., p. 147. 



Mayot, from Gaelic dail, a field. On a haugh near the Dee 
is St Maik's Well.* 

St Nicholas Craig, near Dundee, bears the name of 
Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who was patron -saint of 
sailors, and whose festival was celebrated on 6th December. 
Craig David, close to Bervie in Kincardineshire, recalls 
not St David (David I.), but David II., who landed 
there from France, along with his wife Johan, in May 

Duncomb, in Old Kilpatrick parish, is St Columba's Hill ; 
and Dunblane, with its ancient cathedral close to the mur- 
muring Allan, is the Hill of St Blane, who is perhaps also 
remembered in Strathblane. He was the nephew of St 
Catan, whom we find at Ardchattan (St Catan's Height), 
a parish lying on both sides of Loch Etive. Uncle and 
nephew are represented in Kingarth parish, Bute, where we 
find Suidhe Chatain and St Blane's Hill. Suidhe is Gaelic 
for a seat (Latin sedes), and is found elsewhere in Suidhe 
Ghuirmein (St Gorman's Seat) and Suidhe Mhercheird (St 
Merchard's Seat), both in Urquhart and Glenmoriston 
parish.^ Gorman is said to have been one of the first 
missionaries to the Braes of Urquhart. Merchard, other- 
wise Yarchardus (the m being honorific), was connected 
with Kincardine O'Neil in Aberdeenshire, to which, as well 
as to the other Kincardines throughout Scotland, he is 
believed by Forbes to have given name; but such an 
etymology is unlikely.* 

Suidhe Chuimein (St Cumine's Seat) is near Fort Au- 
gustus. Cumine, who died in 669, was a predecessor of 
Adamnan as Abbot of lona. Adamnan's own name, con- 
siderably altered, occurs in St Arnold's Seat in Tannadice 
parish, Forfarshire, where the pre- Reformation church was 
dedicated to him. The name was written in 1527 " Sanct 
Eunandis Seit," and in 1535 " St Ennan's Seit." The hill 
is cairn-crowned, and commands a view to the south as 
far as the Lammermuirs. St Patrick's Seat, in Old Kil- 
patrick parish, is mentioned in connection with a grant of 

^ O. S. A., vol. ill. p. 315. ^ Jervise's Memorials, vol. ii. pp. 343, 344. 

' Mackay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 336, note. 
* Kal., S.V. *' Yarchardus." 


land to Paisley Abbey circa 1233, but its precise locality 
is unknown.^ 

In addition to Ardpatrick and Stroanpatrick referred to 
above, other headlands may be mentioned — e.g., St Abb's 
Head near Coldingham, where St Ebba found a place of 
religious retreat after quitting Northumbria; St John's 
Head, otherwise Dunmey, in Canisbay parish, Caithness; 
and St Ninian's Point on the west coast of Bute, marked 
by chapels to St John and St Ninian respectively. Rules- 
ness, in Shetland, looks like St Rule's promontory; but, 
according to Dr David Ross, it is the ness or promontory 
" where young horses were kept," from Norse root, a young 
horse.2 Peterhead, in Buchan, derived its name in all 
probability from an ancient dedication to St Peter, the 
head being what was formerly called the Caikinch — now the 
Keithinch. The parish was formerly styled Peterugie. 

Some fields and hollows claim attention in conclusion. 
East of Sorn village in Ayrshire is St Cuthbert's Holm — 
i.e., river- meadow — where a chapel with a cemetery once 
stood; but the site is now under tillage.* In Old Deer 
parish, Aberdeenshire, are the lands of Auchmachar, 
signifying the Field of St Machar, the patron of Aberdeen 
Cathedral; and near the Don, in Kildrummy parish, is 
Macker's Haugh, where stood a chapel to the same saint 
and where is a well called after him. Dalpatrick, in Dalserf 
parish, Lanarkshire, and Dalmarnock near Glasgow, are the 
Field of St Patrick and St Marnoch respectively, from 
Gaelic dail or dal, a portion of land. Dalserf itself is St 
Serfs Field. The parish of Dailly in Ayrshire was formerly 
known as Dalmakeran or Dalmaolkeran, signifying respec- 
tively the Field of St Kieran and the Field of the Servant * 
of Kieran, — the servant in all probability having been one 
who made a speciality of St Kieran's cultus. The pre- 
Reformation church was dedicated to St Michael, the 
Archangel having evidently supplanted St Kieran in the 
estimation of the district ; but a trace of the earlier dedica- 
tion survives in the name of Kilkerran — i.e., the Church 

^ Bruce's Old Kilpatrick, p. 59. 

^ Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Grlasgow, vol. xxv. p. 112. 

' O. S. A., vol. XX. p. 182. * Vide Appendix, M. 


of St Kieran — an estate in the parish.^ There are the lands 
of Dalmakerran, in Tynron parish, Dumfriesshire. Dala- 
rossie, now united to the parish of Moy, Inverness-shire, is, 
according to Shaw, an altered form of Dale-Fergus — uc, 
which he interprets as Fergus's Valley.* Dal, however, is 
evidently Celtic dail, a field, as already indicated, and not 
Teutonic dale, a valley. If Shaw is correct about Fergus, the 
church was probably dedicated to the saint of that name.' 

Magdalen Green at Dundee is believed to have derived 
its name from a chapel to St Mary Magdalene on the high 
ground near the end of Step Row, where some sculptured 
stones were discovered early last century. The place was 
a common belonging to the burgh, and was known also as 
Magdalen Gair or Geir, corrupted later into Magdalen 
Guard and Magdalen Yard. Gair or gate, according to 
Jamieson's * Scottish Dictionary,' signifies a stripe or 
triangular piece of cloth forming an insertion in a garment, 
and hence a slip of sward in the midst of barren ground. 
St Catherine's Green is the name of a piece of ground 
at Banff.* 

In Edinkillie parish, Elginshire, is the valley of St John, 
in the neighbourhood of the Findhorn ; and on the banks of 
the river, near Darnaway Castle, are the Meads of St John, 
where tournaments were once held. Pluscarden Priory, 
some six miles west of Elgin, founded by Alexander II. 
and known as Vallis Sti. Andreae*^ — ue,, the Valley of St 
Andrew — was built in the glen watered by the Black Burn, 
a tributary of the Lossie. Titles were usually given to 
Carthusian monasteries, and accordingly the Charterhouse 
at Perth was styled *' The House of the Valley of Virtue," 
probably, as Mr R. S. Fittis suggests, because it stood in 
the valley of the Tay.* Strathmartin parish, now united 
to Mains, recalls St Martin of Tours. 

The parish, or at least the church place, of Logierait in 
Perthshire was formerly known as Laggan-math-Chaidd, 

^ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 536. ' Province of Moray, p. 97. 

* Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 54. 

* Cramond's Annals of Banff, vol. i. p. 292. 
'^ Shaw's Province of Moray, p. 259. 

* Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 217. 


the Hollow of St Chadd, from Ic^gan, diminutive of Gaelic 
lag, a hollow. Referring to St Chadd, Mr Charles Stewart 
remarks : " His market was, until lately, held at Logierait 
on the 22nd of August. At one time there was Fuaran- 
Chad, or Chadd's Well, on the hillside behind the church. 
The place is still pointed out; but the water has dis- 
appeared — in disgust, as tradition has it, at the market 
being dropped." ^ Lagganallachy, in Little Dunkeld parish, 
probably retains the name of a saint called AUocus or 
Mocheallog, of whom little is known. 

The Gaelic name of Laggan parish, Inverness-shire, is 
Laggan-Choinnich (in 1239 Logynkenny), signifying the 
Hollow of St Kenneth, who is believed to have visited the 
spot, and whose ruined church near the eastern end of 
Loch Laggan was built by AUan-nan-Creach or Allan of 
the Spoils, one of the Locheil family, who reared this and 
other six churches as an atonement for his crimes.^ In 
Urquhart and Glenmoriston parish, Inverness-shire, is Lag- 
an-t'-Seapail — ue., the Hollow of the Chapel, where a chapel 
once stood, and where traces of old graves are still to be 
seen.* The ancient parish of Logiebride, Perthshire, an- 
nexed to Auchtergaven in the seventeenth century, means 
the Hollow of St Bride (Bridget of Kildare). A spring near 
the site of the ancient church is appropriately called St 
Bride's Well. 

The two Deeside parishes of Banchory-Ternan and 
Banchory-Devenick probably both mean the White or Fair 
Hollow, from Gaelic ban, white, and coire, a cauldron, or 
cauldron -shaped hollow. The former recalls St Ternan, 
disciple of St Palladius, and the latter St Devinic, a con- 
temporary of St Machar, who had some link with Creich 
in Sutherland and Methlick in Aberdeenshire, and was 
buried at Banchory, where a church was founded in his 
honour. He is believed to be the saint who appears in 
Landewednack in Cornwall and Landevenach in Brittany.^ 
In the *0. S. A.,'* Banchory-Ternan is written Banchory- 

' Gaelic Kingdom in Scotland, p. 62. 

' Macpherson's Church and Social Life in the Highlands, p. 94. 

' Mackay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 356. 

* Kal., s.v. " Devinic." » Vol, vii. p. 369. 


Tarnan. The writer of the parish article remarks : " The 
last part of the name is that of a saint ; hence one of two 
annual fairs held near by is called St Tarnan's Market; 
and a small fountain, not far distant, is called St Tarnan's 

We find den or dean — the Scottish synonym for English 
dingle — in St Ninian's Den, a deep ravine near Dunnottar 
Castle in Kincardineshire; and in Ringan's Dean — t.^., St 
Ninian's Hollow, in Bowden parish, Roxburghshire. On 
a precipice overhanging it was an ancient chapel surrounded 
by a burying-ground. This chapel probably gave name, not 
only to Ringan's Dean, but to the neighbouring farm of 
Haliedean (now Holydean), where an enclosure of 500 acres, 
formerly styled the Great Deer Park of Haliedean, is still 
surrounded by a fairly well-preserved dry-stone wall, built 
more than 300 years ago.^ The church of Logie-Montrose 
parish, Forfarshire, now united to Pert, had St Martin of 
Tours as its titular. A hollow in the parish — the haunt of 
many a primrose — is known as "St Martin's Den."^ In 
Boyndie parish, Banffshire, near the old church, is Brannan 
How — i.e., St Brendan's Hollow, where Brandon Fair is 
believed to have been held before it was transferred to 
Banff.' Glenfinnan, in Ardnamurchan parish, derived its 
name from the stream of Finnan flowing into Loch Shiel, 
so called from St Finnan. The glen is best known firom 
its connection with the Stuart rising of 1745; for there, 
on the 19th of August of that year, the flag of Prince 
Charles Edward was for the first time unfurled. 

The ancient Mid- Lothian parish of St Catherine's of the 
Hopes, united to Penicuik in 1635, recalls St Catherine of 
Alexandria.* Its church was called St Catherine's of the 
Hopes — i.e,y Glens — to distinguish it from St Catherine's 
of the Kaims — i.e.^ Hills — in Liberton parish. Regarding 
its erection, the story runs that a St Clair of Rosslyn, in 
the time of Robert the Bruce, built it as a thankoffering to 
the saint for helping his hounds to catch a fleet white deer 
before it crossed a certain burn. Had the deer escaped his 
head was to have been the forfeit; but through the sup- 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 290. ' Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 209. 

' V. D. A., p. 646. ^ Scot's Fasti, vol. i. p. jo6. 


posed intervention of St Catherine the deer was taken, and 
a considerable tract of land became his in consequence.^ 
The remains of the building are now covered by the reser- 
voir on Logan Bum belonging to the Edinburgh and 
District Water Trust. 

Dragon's Den — the alternative name of New Pitcaim 
village,* in Dunning parish — is traditionally connected with 
one of the exploits of St Serf. According to the ' Breviary 
of Aberdeen,* " a great dragon, in a place which is called 
Dunnyne, did great mischief. The saint killed him with 
the ferule of his pastoral staff, and the place is called the 
Valley of the Dragon." • It is interesting to find an an- 
cient tradition associated with the name in question ; but 
"dragon" may perhaps have to give place to droigheann, 
a Gaelic word signifying a thorn or bramble. There is a 
Baldragon in Forfarshire. St Serfs cultus spread from 
Perthsire and Fife into Aberdeenshire, where the church 
of Monkeigie was dedicated to him. Jervise says: "The 
present parish church (built in 177 1) stands upon a portion 
of * Sant Sare's bank,' where, it is said, St Sare's fair was 
held previous to its removal to the parish of Culsamond." * 
This fair continues to be held, early in July, on a stance 
between Insch and Culsalmond. 

^ p. S. A. Scot., vol. sciii. p. 130. ' O. S. A., vol. xix. p. 439. 

' Kal., s,v, " Servanus." * Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 301. 



Gudeman*! Croft — Meamng of terms — EccUnastical connection — Ahhey — 
Kirk^-Chapel— Sanctuary— *' God's*' Croft-^St Saviour's Acres — 
Trinity Croft — " Donvcatt ** — Bishop's — Procurator's — Abbot's — 
Prior's — Canor^s — Chancellor's — Vicar's — Parson's — Clerk's — 
Priest's — Curate's — Sacristan's — Monk's — Friar's — Herrrufs — 
Nun's — Lamp Acre — Detuar's Croft — Croit»Churadain — St Lolan's 
Croft— St Lawrence's— St MichaePs—St John's— St Thomas's— St 
James's—St Mary's— St Anne's— St Roche's— St Tenet's— St 
Ninian's—St Stephen's— St Merinach's—St Mamock's—St Chad's 
—St Colme's Atkar—St Patrick's Croft— St Cuthbert' s—St German's 
— St Martm's—St Ftnbar's — Croft Maluac — St Catherine's Crofts — 
St Adamrum's Acre — Croft of St ApolUnaris, 

To the student of folk-lore the term croft is familiar through 
its occurence in the phrase "the gudeman's croft." "In 
many parishes of Scotland," remarks Sir Walter Scott, 
*' there was suffered to exist a certain portion of land, 
called * the gudeman's croft,* which was never ploughed or 
cultivated, but suffered to remain waste. No one doubted 
that 'the goodman's croft' was set apart for some evil 
being, — in fact, that it was the portion of the arch-fiend 
himself. This singular custom sunk before the efforts of 
the clergy in the seventeenth century ; but there must still 
be many alive who in childhood have been taught to look 
with wonder on knolls and patches of ground left unculti- 
vated, because whenever a ploughshare entered the soil 
the elementary spirits were supposed to testify their dis- 
pleasure by storm and thunder."^ 

' Letters on Demonoiogy and Witchcraft, p. 78. 


As regards meaning, acre and croft are identical, — the one 
recalling A.S. acer^ and the other A.S. crofts both signify- 
ing a field. Indeed the two are interchangeable. Thus we 
find, in a charter of date 1585-86, an acre of land, near 
St Boswell's in Roxburghshire, referred to under the name 
of St Margaret's Croft (" Acra terre vocata Sanct Margar- 
ettis-Croft ").^ When a piece of land was gifted to chapel 
or altar, it was naturally called after the saint to whom 
such was dedicated. There was a double advantage in 
this : not only was the ecclesiastical character of the ground 
indicated, but its very name recalling some saint held in 
reverence by the Church would tend to keep the land from 
being alienated. After the Reformation, a saintly name in 
many cases no longer acted as a charm, and consequently 
ceased to prevent land from passing into lay hands. It is 
true that even after the Reformation we find the old 
ecclesiastical names lingering in charters; but gradually 
the name of the new owner of the ground supplanted that 
of the saint. 

Portions of land connected with ecclesiastical buildings 
appear in such forms as Abbey Croft of St Andrews,* Kirk- 
croft in the parishes of Kirkpatrick-Fleming and Tibber- 
muir ; and Chapel Croft in Leochel-Cushnie parish. Chapel 
Croft in Rutherglen parish (otherwise Trinity Croft), and 
Chapel Acre at Innerleithen. " Oure-Ladyis-Chapell-Croft " 
in Kirkcolm parish was a pendicle connected with Kilmory 
Chapel, beside Loch Ryan. A charter of 1602 mentions 
"Kirk-Christis-Chapell-Croft" close to Kilfillan, in Old 
Luce parish. At Cambusbarron, near Stirling, is Chapel- 
Croft, containing the site of Christ's Chapel, in which, ac- 
cording to tradition, Robert the Bruce partook of the 
Communion before the battle of Bannockburn. The 

1 R. M. s. 

' There was no abbey at St Andrews. The superior of the Culdees there 
was, however, styled abbat. *'This peculiarity," according to the late 
Marquess of Bute, "seems to be preserved down to this day by the use 
of the word 'abbey' in connection with some places in this city." — 
< University Rectorial Address,' p. 29. Abbey Croft, and also Abbeymill, 
belong to the priory of St Andrews, and it is possible that the priory may 
have given name to croft and mill, just as the priory of Lesmahagow gave 
name to Abbey-Green ; but the point is a difficult one to settle. 


foundations of the chapel were removed early in last 
century ; but Christ's Well, otherwise the Chapel Well, is 
still to be seen hard by.^ A piece of ground styled the 
" Angelwell Croft " is referred to in an Aberdeen charter of 

As we shall see in chap, xxvii., the Knights -Templars, 
and, after them, the Hospitallers, had possessions scattered 
up and down our land, and traces of the fact are still to be 
met with in topography. In the ancient parish of Mow, 
now included in Morebattle in Roxburghshire, is Temple 
Acre.^ In Fetteresso parish, Kincardineshire, a "Tempil- 
croft" is mentioned in 1502-3 for behoof of a perpetual 
chaplain in the chapel of St Mary and St Nathalan at Cowie 
(''ad sustentationem unius capellani perpetui in capella 
Virginis Marie et S. Nauthlani ")•* There was a Tempil- 
croft at Harlaw in Aberdeenshire. At LufFness, in Aberlady 
parish, Haddingtonshire, was another Templecroft, which 
at one time belonged to the Knights -Templars settled 
in the barony of Drem, in Athelstaneford parish. The 
Carmelites or White Friars* had an establishment at Luff- 
ness ; and there is reason to believe that they became pos- 
sessors of the land in question after the suppression of the 
Templars, for in a charter of i6th February 1620, granted 
to Patrick Hepburn, reference is made to "the temple 
land of the friars of Lufnes, called the temple Croft."® 

By a charter of 145 1 James II. bestowed on his wife, 
Mary of Gueldres, certain lands, and among them the 
crown lands lying to the east and west of Linlithgow, along 
with the Sanctuary-Crofts (" Acras, regales tam ex orientali 
quam occidentali partibus dicti burgi cum les Sanctuary 

^ Fleming^s Old Nooks of Stirling, pp. 85-91. 

* Keg. Episc. Aberd., vol. i. p. 391. 

' O. P. S., vol. i. p. 420. * R. M. S., 1424^1513, p. 569. 

* Spottiswood says that the Red Friars had an establishment at Lufihess, 
but does not give his authority beyond stating that it was mentioned in 
ancient charters and records along with other houses of the Order. A 
charter of 1633, in the *R. M. S.,' though mentioning lands at Lufihess 
formerly belonging to the Carmelites, assigns the Temple-Croft in question 
to the Preaching Friars — «.*., the Dominicans or Black Friars— evidently 
by mistake. By 1633 some confusion had probably arisen between the 
White and the Black Friars. 

* Chartularies of Torphtchen and Drem, Part II., p. 3. 


Croftis").* In mediaeval times every church and church- 
yard formed a sanctuary, and sometimes the girth extended 
beyond the hmits of the latter. In this case, however, the 
sanctuary was probably connected not with any religious 
foundation, but with Linlithgow Palace as a royal residence,^ 
and corresponded with what is known as the peel or park. 
At the foot of Pilgrim Hill, east of Linlithgow, once stood 
the hospital of St Mary Magdalene; and connected with 
it was Spittelcroft (Spittal Croft). In 1608 we read of 
" Almoushouscroft " at Arbroath, and in 1641 of" Seikmanis- 
hous " and " Seikmaniscroft " * near Stirling. On the out- 
skirts of Elgin stood the preceptory of Maison-Dieu ; and 
belonging to it in all probability was the portion of land 
known as Spytelcroft. 

Prior to the Reformation, Abbey St Bathans parish in 
Berwickshire consisted of the separate parishes of St 
Bathans and Strafontane, otherwise Trefountain. In the 
latter an hospital was founded, temp. David I., which be- 
longed to the abbey of Alnwick, but passed, in 1437, to 
the monks of Dryburgh.* Godscroft, in its neighbourhood, 
associated with the name of David Hume, the post-Refor- 
mation controversialist,^ derived its name, in all likelihood, 
from its connection with this hospital. In earlier times 
Domus Dei (Maison Dieu) was the name commonly given 
to such foundations; and hence land devoted to the pur- 
poses of the charity might well be styled God's Croft. In 
Ross -shire there was a Croft of the Lord, for in the 
*R. M. S.,' under date a.d. 1611, we read of "Quartam 
partem crofte de Tarbat vocate Crofte Domini." As 
mentioned in chap, xxviii., Jedburgh has some land still 
known as the Maison Dieu Acres. There was a Crystyis 

» R. M. s. 

' Bell, in his * Commentaries on the Law of Scotland ' (vol. ii. p. 461), says : 
** There have been two kinds of sanctuaries in modem Europe, — one arising^ 
from religious considerations, and another from respect for the person of 
the king." 

' R. M. S. * Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 54, note. 

' Hume was a son of Sir David Hume of Wedderbum. He was bom 
circa 1560 and died circa i6jo ; but the exact dates are not known. Among 
other works he wrote a ' History of the House of Douglas.' Godscroft is 
still a place-name in Abbey St Bathans parish. 


Croft (Christ's Croft) on the lands of Meikle Methlick in 
Aberdeenshire, so named, according to Jervise, in a charter 
in Haddo House.^ At Dundee was a piece of ground called 
St Saviour's Acres, connected with St Saviour's (St Sal- 
vator's) altar in the parish church. This altar was endowed 
by " Patrick of Inverpefir," burgess of Dundee, in 1391. 
After the murder of David, Duke of Rothesay, in 1402, it 
was further endowed by Robert III. "for the weal of the 
soul of our whilom first-born David," the king granting to 
it ''a hundred shillings yearly from our great Customs of 
Dundee for ever."^ A Trinity Croft is mentioned in a 
charter of date 1585-86 in connection with the altar of the 
Holy Trinity in the church of Scone in Perthshire.' 

When cross or rood occurs in topography in connection 
with croft or acre, the names indicate either a plot of ground 
where a cross stood, or one whose rent was devoted to some 
altarage of the " Holy Rood." In 1540 mention is made 
of two Rood Acres near Jedburgh ; in 1569-70 of Rood 
Crofts at St Andrews; in 1592 of Ruid-Aiker near King- 
horn ; in 1612 of Ruidiscroft at Aberdeen ; and in 1641 of 
Ruidcroft near Stirling.* Cosmo Innes says : " The Knights 
of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem had a tenement 
in Peebles (which kept the name of Templeland to the close 
of the seventeenth century) and an acre of land attached 
to it called * Rud Aiker.*"* The form Cros-Aikeris also 
occurs. Cors-Croft — i.e., Cross-Croft — is mentioned in 1583 
in a charter of Alexander Ogilvy, who held the prebend of 
the Holy Cross in the collegiate church at Cullen.® In a 
charter of 1455-56 relating to the endowment of St Peter's 
altar in the church of St Nicholas at Aberdeen, Halyland 
Croft is named along with several others.^ 

According to feudal law the right of keeping pigeons was 
restricted to the lord of a manor and the rector of a parish. 
To Norman influence was due the building of dove-cots, 
which were usually very substantial structures. A dove- 
cot in the grounds of the Grey friars' monastery at Elgin, 

^ Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 38. ' Maxwell's Old Dundee, pp. 20, 21. 

* R. M. S. * Ibid. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 231. < R. M. S. 

' Cart, de Ecclesia Sancti Nicholai (Aberdeen), vol. ii. p. 285. 


together with some remains of the monastic buildings, 
founded by Alexander II., could be seen till the beginning 
of last century, when they were demolished to supply stones 
for building purposes. In a charter of 1635, ^^ connection 
with the situation of certain lands at St Andrews, we find 
the Columbarium 5. Leonardi referred to as a landmark.^ 
When speaking of dove-cots Chancellor R. S. Fergusson 
observes: "Their frequency is attested by the occurrence 
in lists of field-names of dove-cot, pigeon-house, and culver- 
house fields, where now are no such buildings."* In 1473, 
David, Abbot of Cupar, granted to the abbey gardener at 
Carse Grange that ''he sal hafe our doukat puttand it til 
all possibyl profit to the behufe of the Abbay."' In 1608, 
Dowcatland, at Skibo in Sutherland, is mentioned ; and in 
1631, along with other portions of ground belonging to the 
abbey of Scone, Dowcatcroft is named; while in 1511 we 
find a reference to Dowcat-Aikir, at Ballencrief in Aberlady 
parish,^ belonging doubtless to St Cuthbert's Hospital. In 
the middle of the sixteenth century, in connection with the 
rental of " Owir Lady Alter in Sanct Nicholas Kirk of Abir- 
dene," a certain sum is mentioned as derived from the 
"Dowcatt Croft." '^ 

The names of those who held various offices in the church 
were often conferred on acres and crofts. Thus we have 
Bishop's Croft at Old Aberdeen, and at Eastertoun of Barras 
in Dunottar parish, Kincardineshire. In mediaeval times, 
when a bishop, archdeacon, or rural dean made an official 
tour through a diocese, he was entitled to certain sums 
"ad procurandum cibum et Potum." The money thus re- 
ceived was called a procuration, and the official who gathered 
it, a procurator. We find Procutouris- Croft, in Slains 
parish, Aberdeenshire, mentioned in 1600; and Proctouris- 
Croft, in Ellon parish, in 1638.* There were several Abbots' 
Crofts, one of them being at Cowie in Kincardineshire. 
Crail had a Prior's Croft. Pryoris- Croft is named among 
the lands of the abbey of Scone, and in Linlithgowshire we 
find a Prior's Croft connected, in all likelihood, with one 

^ R. M. S. ' Archaeological Journal, vol. xliy. p. 107. 

' Register of Cupar Abbey, vol. i. p. 71. ^ R. M. S. 

B Cart, of St Nicholas, vol. ii. p. 285. • R. M. S. 


or other of the two monasteries — Black Friars' and White 
Friars' — at Linlithgow. The priory of Lesmahagow owned 
a piece of ground known as Prior-hill, alias Prior-croft.^ 
The priory of St Andrews had its Prior-Acres, and Paisley 
Abbey its Prior's-croft. 

In Lauderdale was Channones (Canon's) -croft. Chan- 
cellor, the legal adviser of the bishop, gave his name to 
Chancellor's Croft at Dunkeld.* Vicar's-Acre can be traced 
at Kinclaven; and Vicar's -Acres at Liberton, at Boltoun 
in Haddingtonshire, and in the parish of Wigtown ; while 
Vicar's Croft occurs at North Berwick, Cleghorn, Findo- 
Gask, Kinghorn, Kincardine O'Neil, Inverurie, Fordyce, 
and Rosemarkie. Glasgow had a Parson's Croft. Archi- 
bald Douglas (who, as prebendary of Glasgow Primus,* 
held the parsonage in 1573) " granted in feu-farm to David 
RoUok of Kincladye and his wife, inter alia, thirteen acres, 
called the Personis-Croft, on the north side of the city near 
the Stabill-grene," and "lands called the Personis-bauch, 
near Stobcors."* The ancient parish of Hassendean, Rox- 
burghshire, had a Clerk-croft, the property of the Earl of 
Haddington, towards the middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; and in 1627 the glebe land of Kilmartin parish, Argyll, 
is styled the Clerkis Aiker.^ We find Priest's Acres near 
Stirling; Priest's Croft near Kirk-o'-Muir, and another 
Priest's Croft near Dunbar, in Haddingtonshire; and yet 
another, near Clackmannan church, granted by David I. to 
Cambuskenneth Abbey.** There was a Curate's Acre at 
Linlithgow. Near Coldingham was Sacristan's Croft, and 
we find Sacrister Croft at Scone.^ 

The monks, who are believed to have founded at Hassen- 
dean a hospice for the entertainment of strangers, left their 
impress on local topography in the names of Monks'-tower, 
Monckesflattes, and Monks'-Croft. Kermanachan — i.e., the 

^ R. M. S. ' O. S. A., vol. XX. p. 428, note. 

' "The Parson of Glasg^ow, or what was called commonly in the Chapter, 
by Deeds, Glasgow Primo, was the Bishop's Vicar, and had the charge, 
at least after the Reformation, of the Parish of the Barony of Glasgow.'' — 
Gordon's * Vade Mecum to Glasgow Cathedral,' p. 165. 

* Glasgow Protocols, vol. iv. p. 20, note. ^ O. P. S., voL ii. p. 94. 

" Nimmo's Stirlingshire, vol. i. p. 108. ' O. P. S., vol. i. pp. 3i6-32a 


Quarterland of the Monks — in Kirkcolm parish is alluded 
to in an Inquisition of date 1590 as " Monkis Croft, per- 
taining to the Abbey of Glenluce."^ Crail had a Monk's 
Croft, and there was one in Strathearn connected with the 
Abbey of Inchafifray ; while the barony of Panmure in For- 
farshire had a Monk's Acre.* The friars are represented 
by such names as Frater's-Croft in Galloway, Freir Croft 
near Roxburgh, and Freiris-Croft at Queensferry, where a 
Carmelite or Whitefriars' monastery was founded in 1332 
by Sir George Dundas of Dundas. Dunbar has a Friars' 
Croft, recalling, as we saw in chap, xix., the Trinity or Red 
Friars, who were settled there in 1218 by Patrick, Earl of 
Dunbar. Friars' Acres at Dundee belonged to the Black 
Friars' monastery, which was situated between what are 
now South Tay Street and Long Wynd.* Friars' Acres at 
Ayr were so called from their connection with the Franciscan 
Friary founded in the burgh by Alexander II. in or about 
1230.* On the lands of Braidwood, in Carluke parish, is 
Friars' Croft, anciently belonging in all probability to the 
monastery of Kelso, which had possessions in the parish. 
Hermit's Croft in Menteith, connected with St Fillan's 
Chapel near the Castle of Doune,^ was referred to in chap, 
iii. ; and in chap. xix. we saw that the nunnery at Eccles 
in Berwickshire gave rise to more than one Nuncroft. 

In an article on the " Proposed Restoration of the Parish 
Church of Corstorphine " in ' The Scotsman ' of 15th July 
1903, the writer, after referring to certain architectural de- 
tails, remarks : " One other curious fact connected with the 
church may be mentioned. This is the existence outside, 
above the chancel window, of a canopied niche, which at 
one time held a lamp that served to light the clergy and 
others across the morass, which stretched away eastward ; 
and that at Coltbridge was a slip of ground called the 
' Lamp Acre,' which was put aside to provide for the ex- 
penses of the upkeep of the lamp." 

1 GaU. Top., p. 206. ^ R. M. S. 

> Maxwell's Old Dundee, p. 21. 

** Charters of Friars Preachers of Ayr, Introd., pp. xx and iii. 
^ There were two chapels to St Fillan at Doune, one inside and the other 
outside the castle. 


In the Celtic Church, relics, such as bells and crosiers, 
were usually committed to the charge of a hereditary 
keeper, who had duly recognised privileges and responsi- 
bilities. The surname Dewar, anciently Doire, was at first 
the official name of such a keeper; and a portion of land, 
set apart for the dewar, was styled Deray Croft. Dr Joseph 
Anderson gives the following examples: Deray Croft at 
Banchory - Ternan, Deray Croft at Fordoun, Diracroft, 
alias Belaikers, at the Kirktoun of Conveth or Laurence- 
kirk, and Diraland at Fettercairn.^ 

In Monomore, near Loch Tay, is Croftnamaish, regarding 
which Mr J. Christie expresses the belief that it "is the 
holding which was originally called Dewar-na-mais Croft, 
and which had been in the possession of a family of Dewars, 
the keepers of a relic of St Fillan or his church in the shape 
of a vessel of some kind."* The Gaelic Crofi-na-tnaish, 
Mr Christie thinks, means " the croft of the (sacred) dish." 
The same writer mentions Croit-en-deor or Dewar's Croft, 
now part of the lands of Acham, which, prior to 1755, 
belonged to a family of Dewars, who had the hereditary 
keeping of the crosier of St Fillan, known as the coig- 
gerach or quigrich. In the ten merkland of Auchlyne was 
Dewar-na-fergus Croft — the Croft of the Dewar of the Farig, 
another relic of St Fillan.' What the/an^ was is uncertain. 
It is clear, however, from documentary evidence, that it and 
the coig-gerach were different relics. In addition to Croft- 
na-maish, Croit-en-deor, and Dewar-na-fergus Croft, there 
were other two crofts in the same district connected with 
certain relics believed to have been associated with the 
cultus of St Fillan — viz., Dewar Vernon's Croft in Suy, 
and Dewar-na-Maynes Croft at Killin. Dr Anderson holds 
that the former took its name from St Fillan's bell, and 
the latter from St Fillan's hand. He remarks: "The hand 
or arm (generally the forearm with the hand) is not an un- 
common relic of a saint, and was usually enshrined in a 
silver case, made in the form of an arm and hand."^ 

At Kil-St Ninian, in Urquhart parish, Inverness-shire, a 

^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. i. p. 211. 

' Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, p. 62. 

' Ibid., pp. 71, 72. ^ P. S. A. Scot., voL zziii. pp. iio-if8. 


crucifix, traditionally associated with St Drostan, was pre- 
served in the church of St Ninian, It was under the charge 
of a keeper who had a croft, Croit-an-Deoir, mentioned as 
late as 1649. ^^ Drostan himself had a croft in the same 
district known as Croit mo Chrostain. Mr William Mackay 
says: "Tradition tells that he preached the Gospel in 
Urquhart, and supported himself by cultivating Croit mo 
Chrostain — St Drostan's Croft — on the top of that pretty 
hillock which is situated immediately to the west of Bal- 
macaan House. The croft may have been the gift of the 
Pictish potentate who ruled the glen in his day. It passed 
to the Romish Church on its establishment about the be- 
ginning of the twelfth century, and in 1556 it was attached 
to the chapel of St Ninian, whose disciple Drostan may 
have been. At the Reformation it ceased to be church 
property." ^ Mr Mackay also refers to another croft in the 
same district — viz., Croit-Churadain, connected with the 
cultus of St Curadan, otherwise Boniface of Rosemarkie, 
"to whom was dedicated the old chapel of Corrimony, 
Clach Churadain," and after whom are named "Croit 
Churadain (Curadan's Croft) and Tobar- Churadain (Cura- 
dan's Well), both on the adjacent lands of Buntait."* 

In a charter of 1620 the church-lands of Kincardine-on- 
Forth are mentioned along with the croft of St Lolan.* 
According to the * Martyrology of Aberdeen,' Lolan was 
buried at Kincardine. The * Breviary of Aberdeen ' says 
that he was a nephew of St Servanus ; that he was born in 
Canaan, and acted as claviger of St Peter's Church at Rome 
for seven years. Longing to see his uncle, who had gone to 
preach to the Scots, he one night quitted Rome, having as 
usual locked the door of St Peter's Church and left the key 
in a conspicuous place. Next morning no one could open 
the church, and when it was miraculously revealed that none 
but the hand that shut the door could open it, a deputation 
was sent to bring back the claviger. The deputies found 
him at a place called Planum, and when the saint heard 
their errand, he cut off his right hand and presented it to 
them. The hand was taken back to Rome, and at once 

^ Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 326. ' Ibid., pp. 326, 336, 337, note. 

• R. M. S. 


turned the key of the church. As a reward Lolan obtained 
four ass-loads of consecrated earth from St Peter's cemetery, 
that his body might be buried therein, — a most valuable 
donation, according to the compiler of the Breviary.^ St 
Lolan's bell and sta£f are thus referred to by Dr Joseph 
Anderson : " In that year [1675] James, Earl of Perth, was 
retoured in the mill and manor of Kincardine-on-Forth, 
along with the holy bell of St Lolan. The bell of St Lolan 
is known from the end of the twelfth century, when William 
the Lion granted the church of Kincardine to the abbey of 
Cambuskenneth, with its teinds, and a toft^ with a gar- 
den pertaining to the bell of St Lolan, and a toft with a 
garden to the staff of St Lolan. Neither bell nor staff is 
now known to exist."* 

In addition to St Lolan's Croft, Kincardine-on-Forth had 
connected with its church -lands a croft named after St 
Lawrence the martyr. The abbey of Dunfermline had an 
altar dedicated to him, and we find his name occurring in St 
Lawrence's Croft, as well as in St Lawrence's Yard and St 
Lawrence's Orchard in the neighbourhood of the abbey.* 
In 1641 " Sanct- Laurence-Croft " is described as situated 
at the end of Stirling Bridge C'apud finem pontis de 
Stirling").^ There was an altar to St Lawrence in the 
parish church of Stirling. The relation of croft and altar is 
thus indicated in an entry in the * Stirling Burgh Records ' : 
" Seventh August 1528. Master Robart Galbracht, proloc- 
utour for Sir William Symsoun, Chaplane of Sane Lawrens 
altar fundit and situat within the parocht kirk of the said 
burgh, producit and schew ane fundacioun of the said 
altar makand mentioun quhar Sane Lawrance croft was 
gevin to the said altar and to the chaplane tharof for the 
tyme." • Beside the chapel of St Leonard near Peebles were 
St Leonard's Acres, known in 1624 as the '' Chapel Yairds 
of Saint Leonardis." ^ The Archangel Michael is repre- 

^ Kal., p. 378. 

' Tofts and crofts are often coupled together in charters. A toft indicates 
a site of a building- of some sort. 
^ Scotland in Early Christian Times, vol. i. p. 212. 
* R. M. S., 1582. » Ibid. • Vol. i. p. 32. 

^ O. P. S., vol. i. p. 231. 


sented by St Michael's Croft near Perth, and at Holywood, 
Dumfriesshire, and by St Michael's Acres at Chanonry, now 
Fortrose, in the Black Isle. 

Among the church-lands in the parish of Kilmuir Easter, 
Ross-shire, we find Priest's Hill mentioned along with the 
croft of John the Baptist.^ There was a St John's Croft at 
Aberdeen, and at Linlithgow was St John's Acre in con- 
nection with the Baptist's altar in St Michael's church in 
the burgh.* Among the Templar lands in the barony of 
Skirling, Peeblesshire, are St John's Hill and St John's 
Croft.* Galloway had three examples — viz., St John's 
Croft, forming part of the lands of Poltoune, confirmed in 
1473 to Roger, Prior of Candida Casa, St John's Croft at 
Cardness in Anwoth parish, and St John's Croft in Inch 
. parish near the abbey of Soulseat. The Croft of St John at 
Montrose derived its name from that of the patron saint of 
the church. At the beginning of last century it was a 
stretch of grass, but is now built upon, and contains St 
John's Place and St John's Cottages.* Close to the Den 
Burn at Aberdeen, and at the foot of the hill where stands 
Gilcomston Church, once flowed St John's Well. The 
spring was situated at the north end of a piece of ground 
known as St John's Croft ; but it is not certain whether the 
Well gave name to the croft or vice versd. Among the altars 
in Renfrew parish church were two, dedicated respectively to 
St Thomas the apostle and St Thomas-a-Becket ; and in 
the neighbourhood were the lands of St Thomas's Croft. At 
Lumquhat, in CoUessie parish, was another St Thomas's 
Croft. At Scone was St James's Croft, described in a 
charter of 1586 as lying between Abbey walls and Dean- 
Yard, Trinity land and Craigieburn.* 

Associated with the cultus of the Virgin we find the 
following — ^viz.. Lady Acre in the parishes of Inchinnan, 
Lanark, and Kilwinning ; Ladywell Acre near Elgin ; Lady 
Croft at Aberdeen, near Stirling, and in Kirkmaiden parish ; 
Marie-Acre, in the barony of Methven; Mariscroft, in Foulis 

^ O. P S., vol. ii. p. 460. ' R. M. S., 1491. 

' Ibid., 1641. 

^ J. G. Low's The Church of St John the Evangfelist of Montrose, p. 28. 

» R. M. S. 


parish, Strathearn ; Mariscroft at Ardmannach ; Mariecroft 
near Lindores; Croft Marieland, near Banfif; Pants, or St 
Mary's Croft, in Rutherglen parish; and the Croft of St 
Mary next the Common Muir of Glasgow. This last was 
connected with the collegiate church of St Mary and St 
Anne, which occupied the site of the present Tron 

There was a croft of St Anne between the lands of the 
sub-dean of Glasgow on the north and the Common Muir 
of Glasgow on the south.^ St Roche's Chapel, built about 
1508, was in 1530 annexed to the collegiate church just 
mentioned ; and in 1566 we find a reference to a sasine of 
half the lands or croft of St Rochy.* Another Glasgow 
croft was the croft of St Tenew. Under date July 13, 1551, 
we read of ** an acre of land lying in the croft of St Tenew, 
between the lands of the chaplainry of St Tenew on the 
east, the burn called Glasgow on the west, the common 
green on the south, and the cemetery of St Tenew on the 
north."* Dr Andrew MacGeorge says: "The beautiful 
street which now stretches westward from the Cross was 
in old times a country road leading to two chapels, — one 
dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury, and the other to 
St Tanew or Thenew, the mother of Kentigern, who, ac- 
cording to the * Aberdeen Breviary,' was buried there. It 
was surrounded by a burial-ground, now the site of St 
Enoch's Square. When M'Ure wrote his history in 1736, 
the remains of this old chapel were still to be seen — a 
solitary spot in the country, surrounded by corn-fields. 
The name became subsequently corrupted to St Enoch." * 

St Ninian's Croft at Glasgow, connected with St Ninian's 
Leper Hospital, is described as having been in 1695 ''a 
perfectly unenclosed common, partially covered with bushes, 
probably of furze, and here and there marked by a few 
diminutive trees." ^ Near Arbroath was another croft to 
St Ninian, styled in a charter of 1583 " Crofta Divi Niniani," 
and in its neighbourhood once stood a chapel to the same 
saint, dedicated about 1485 by George de Brana, Bishop 

^ Glasgpow Protocols, vol. Hi. p. 38. ' Ibid., p. 90. 

' Ibid., vol. i. p. 32. * Old Glasgfow, p. ij6. 

' Stuart's Views of Glasgow, p. 4. 


of Dromore.^ In the barony of Keithik, near Coupar- 
AnguSy were St Ninian's mill and St Ninian's acre.' At 
Barry were St Stevinis (Stephen's) Croft, and Sanct Myrnois 
(probably Merinach's) Croft. The lands of Barry were 
granted to Balmerino Abbey in Fife; and in a sixteenth- 
century rental of that abbey, quoted by Dr Campbell, the 
following occurs: *'Thrie ackers of land of Barrie with 
houses and croft called St Merino's croft lyand besyde y^ 
lands of Kirkton Barrie sustaining yearly bread and wyne 
to the high altar of y® paroch church of Barrie." * Among 
the feus of Scone Abbey in 1585 we find mentioned the 
'* croft callit Sanct Mernockis croft, als the Chapel-yaird 
with the Chapell of Sanctmernock with the yaird stane- 
dyikis about the samin."^ 

St Chad, patron of Logierait parish in Perthshire, gave 
name to a croft regarding which Stewart, in his ' Gaelic 
Kingdom in Scotland,'* says: "We have his place of resi- 
dence and his glebe at GrantuUy, on the south side of the 
Tay, called Croit-Chad, and at the same place the remains 
of a chapel which must undoubtedly have been his." Sanct- 
Colmes-Aikar, at Auldearn, Nairnshire, recalls the name 
of St Columba, to whom the church there was dedicated, 
and in whose honour an annual fair, known as St Colm's 
Market, was long held on June gth, at which it was custom- 
ary for the young women of the parish to appear wearing 
white" dresses.® St Patrick's Croft in the Bailliary of Carrick, 
St Cuthbert's Croft at Murtle, Aberdeenshire, and Sanct- 
German's-Aikar ^ at Invertiel in Fife, may be mentioned, 
as well as St Martin's Acre at Megginch, in the Carse of 
Gowrie, lying to the east of the entrance to the burying- 
ground. The church of Megginch was dedicated to St 
Martin. Croftmartin at Kinross is mentioned in 1638. 
Croftmartaig near Loch Tay is called after the same saint. 

The cathedral of the bishopric of Caithness was founded 

^ Warden^s Ang^s, vol. ii. p. 56. ' RegT- ^^ Cupar, vol. i. p. J53. 

* Balmerino and its Abbey, p. 355. ^ Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 231. 

' P. 61. ' Bain's History of Auldearn parish, p. 2. 

^ St Germain's Hospital, at Seton in Haddingptonshire, had possessions 
in Fife, and one may safely conclude that Sanct-German's-Aiker was part 
of the property of the Hospital. 


at Dornoch by Gilbert, who was appointed to the see in 
1223. It was dedicated to St Finbar of Cork,^ and in its 
neighbourhood was the croft of St Finbar.^ Near Lynchat, 
in Alvie parish, Inverness-shire, once stood a chapel to St 
Maluag of Lismore. Connected with it was a portion of 
land regarding which Shaw says : " I have before me a 
seasine on the land of Croft Maluac in favour of James 
Mackintosh, alias Macdonald, Glas, ancestor to John 
Macintosh of Strowan, by George, Bishop of Moray, 
anno 1575." ' The same writer thus accounts for the name 
of St Catherine's Crofts at Elgin: "It is probable they 
[the Grey Sisters or Nuns of Sienna] had a convent at 
Elgin where there are plots of land called St Katherine's 
Crofts." * There is no evidence, however, that such a con- 
vent existed at Elgin. The crofts in question, in all likeli- 
hood, received their name from some altarage in the burgh. 
To the north of Cupar Monastery in Angus was St Cather- 
ine's Croft, described in the Register of the Abbey ^ as "the 
croft abune the burn called * Sanct Katernis Croft.' " 

Three miles south-west of Cupar Abbey were the lands 
of Campsie, belonging to the monastery. In 1538 the abbot 
granted a lease to Alexander Macbroke and his heirs-male 
of the place and lands of Campsie, on condition, inter alia^ 
that he should furnish "sufficient wax to St Hannand's 
[Adamnan's] lyght and chapel."^ Connected with this 
chapel was a piece of ground called St Adamnan's Acre. 
In 1474 Robert PuUour, by an arrangement with the 
abbot, was to occupy the latter's house, and to "have 
the acre of St Adamnan for eleven shillings, to be paid 
quarterly."^ In Urquhart and Glenmoriston parish, 
Inverness-shire, was St Adamnan's Croft, but its exact 
position is not now known. Along with some other church- 
lands in the same neighbourhood, it was granted in 1556 
to Sir John Donaldson by Mary, Queen of Scots. The 
saint is believed to have visited the district, and may have 
founded the church of Abriachan, which was dedicated to 

^ St Gilbert became joint-patron with St Finbar at a later date. 
^ R. M* S. ' Province of Moray, p. 33J. 

* Ibid., p. 263. ^ Reg". Cupar, vol. ii. p. 45. 

' Ibid., Introd., p. xlvi. ^ Ibid., vol. i. p. 222. 


him.^ The cultus of St ApoUinaris took root at Inverurie 
in Aberdeenshire. In a corrupted form his name appears 
in Polander Fair, held formerly in the parish in July, his 
day being the 23rd of that month. Close to the Don stood 
Polnar Chapel, which gave name to the neighbouring farm 
oi Polinar Chappel. Dr Davidson remarks: " The residence 
of the early vicars of Inverurie is, by local tradition, placed 
close by Polnar Chapel on the lowest slope of the brae of 
Aikenhead, where the burn of Polnar separates it from the 
lands of Baddifurrow, on which the church stood."* In 
1616 " Crofta Divi ApoUinaris " at Inverurie is mentioned, 
and one may safely conclude that it was connected with the 
above chapel. St ApoUinaris is usuaUy reckoned the first 
bishop of Ravenna, but through what channel his cultus 
passed from Italy to North Britain we do not know. To 
any one who has visited the ancient city of Theodoric the 
name of St ApoUinaris ^ has an abiding charm, for it recalls 
the splendours of the early Christian Mosaics, and the 
healthful influences of the Pineta where Dante loved to 

' Mackay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston, pp. 116, 335. 

' Inverurie and the Earldom of the Garioch, p. 27. 

' Two Ravenna churches are dedicated to him — viz., S. Apollinare 
Nuovo, built about 500 by Theodonc the Great, and S. Apollinare in 
Classe, dating- from about the same time. In the ninth century the relics 
of ApoUinaris were transferred from the latter to the former. — Baedeker's 
* Northern Italy ' fed. 1886), pp. 340, 342. 



Pagan or Christian P — Clach'na'h^ "Annait — Tohar'na^IP '^ Annakt — 
TeamffulUna^h* 'jinnait — jinnoit Church-- St Ninian's Chapely Andat 
— Variations of name — Longannat — Annotturis — Annatland — Annat 
Hilly isfc» — Anatiscruik — Annatstoun — Cleidh^na^H* -Annait — Alt^na^ 
ff*'Annait — Anait — Anaid — Ach^na-H^'Anait — Balnahanait, 

Who or what was Annat, Pagan or Christian ? There are 
various examples of the word in Scottish topography, and 
some have sought to interpret these by a reference to Annat 
as a heathen divinity. Thus the writer of the article on 
Strath parish, Skye, in the * N. S. A./^ says : " In front of 
the minister's house there are the ruins of a place of 
worship ; and close to it stands a rude obelisk of granite, 
about ten feet high, perfectly erect. It is known by the 
appellation of Clach-na-h*-Annait — that is, the Stone of 
Annat, a goddess mentioned by the mythologists. Near 
this stone is a copious well of excellent water called Tobar- 
na-H*-Annait, or Annat's Fountain, in which it is probable 
the worshippers purified themselves.** Muir takes a differ- 
ent view, for he calls the spring in question St Annat's 
Well.* On the island of Killigray, off Harris, is another 
Tobar-na-H'-Annait, close to the vestiges of Teampull-na- 
H*-Annait. The well is situated on a point of land called 
Ru-na-H*-Annait — i.^., the Promontory of Annat. 

Colonel Robertson holds that Annat was a pagan divinity. 
He says: "This deity, called by the ancient Caledonian 
Gael * Annat,* was the goddess ^ of victory * ; and the name 

^ Inverness, p. 305. ' Eccles. Notes, p. J4. 

ANNAT. 345 

is known and mentioned by very ancient classical writers, 
who call her ' Andat ' and ' Andate ' ; and according to the 
custom of the Gael of contracting proper names, they called 
it 'Annat.' This heathen goddess, and another called 
'Andraste,' or 'the god of justice,' are both mentioned by 
the ancient author Dio. The date of his work is a.d. 230, 
and he states them to be deities worshipped by Celtic 
nations." ^ 

Mr Charles Stewart, of Tigh-n'-Duin, Killin, expresses 
similar views as to Annat, and finds confirmation of them 
in a curious rite which he tells us was universally practised 
in his younger days, and in which he himself took part. 
He says : "It was celebrated after this fashion on the 
evening of the first Tuesday of the first spring moon. The 
whole household having assembled, a priestess was ap- 
pointed, who required to be either the eldest or youngest 
unmarried member of a family, and who, during the cere- 
mony, had to maintain perfect silence. She then proceeded 
to make cakes of oatmeal and eggs. One of these was 
large, and contained symbols, which, when ready, was cut 
up and used for purposes of divination. Of the smaller 
ones, some were eaten and some used for dreaming upon. 
In fact, it was the reverberation of the ancient worship of 
the queen of heaven by cakes. What connects it with our 
goddess is the name of the cakes, which were called 
Bonnich-Innait, or the Cakes of Innait, and the Tuesday 

sacred to the rite Dimairt Innait, or the Tuesday of 
Innait." 2 

Even though one grants that there was a pagan divinity 
called Annat or Andate worshipped by the Celts, the 
admission does not explain the name as we find it in 
topography. At the most a coincidence is all that can be 
assumed. There is reason to believe that places called 
Annat were so styled because of their Christian associations. 
Mr Stewart, while advocating, as we have seen, the pagan 
origin of the name, allows that '^ in Christian times there 
were certainly places of worship at some of the Annaits." 
The name is found in a variety of forms. Mr Stewart gives 

^ Gaelic Topog., p. 265. * Gaelic Kingdom in Scotland, pp. 73, 74. 

346 ANNAT. 

six — viz., Annait, Annat, Innit, Andat, Andate, and Annand. 
To these should be added other two at least — viz,, Annot 
and Anaid. In his 'Gaelic Dictionary,' Dr Alexander 
Macbain gives as obsolete forms of the word Annaid and 
Annoid, and remarks : " Stokes refers it to Low Latin 
antitas, for antiquitas, ancient church." There may be a 
difference of opinion as to the etymology of the term, but 
its meaning is well known. We find the word applied to 
a particular kind of church, defined in the ' Ancient Laws 
of Ireland'^ as "the church in which the patron-saint was 
educated, or in which his reliques were kept." In like 
manner the Andoit- Church tribe is defined in the same 
work* as " the tribe of the patron-saint." Skene observes : 
" It must be recollected that it is the presence of the saint's 
body that hallows the site of the monastery he has founded, 
and confers upon it the privileges of an Annoid, or mother 
church. Any spot to which his relics might be taken 
would be equally sacred in the eyes of the community, and 
the new monastery equally endowed with the privileges 
connected with them."* 

It is not always possible to say precisely why an ecclesi- 
astical site known as Annat received its name; but it is 
safe to conclude that the patron-saint had some definite 
connection with the spot — either during his life or after his 
death — through his relics. There was a chapel to St 
Ninian on the lands of " Annit, otherwise Andat," in Meth- 
lick parish, Aberdeenshire ; but the name of the place may 
have been due to a connection with some saint other than 
St Ninian.* These lands were united, circa 1539, to the 
barony of Mekil Meithlick.^ In a charter of 1511 allusion 
is made to the Shadow -half of Andate in Aberdeenshire, 
doubtless the same as the lands at Methlick.^ 

As examples of different forms of the name may be 
mentioned Anat on the lands of Loch Eil, Annat in the 
barony of Loch Awe, Annatt in Stratheam, and Annot in 
Islay. This last is described in the charter^ where it 
occurs as Annot vel Amott, the latter being found as Amot 

^ Vol. iii. p. 65, note. * P. 37. 

' Celtic Scotland, vol. ii. p. 300. * Collect. Aberdeen and Banff, p. 320. 

• R. M. S. « Ibid. 7 Ibid. 


ANNAT. 347 

in North Kintyre, and as Ammot in Sutherland. Annat is 
an estate in Kilspindie parish in the Carse of Gowrie ; but 
the name was given to it in recent times, the property 
having been formerly known as Rait. There is another 
Annat in Kilmadock parish in Menteith. The ecclesiastical 
nature of the site is indicated in the * O. S. A.,' ^ where we 
are told that a "chapel stood on the west brink of the 
glen of Annat, on a round hill which still retains the name 
of Kirkhill, and the marks of graves are still visible." Past 
it flows the Annat Burn. In the parish of Scone is Annaty- 
burn. Ross-shire has an Annat near Ardgye, and beside 
Loch Broom in the same shire is the hamlet of Annat, with 
a burying-ground styled Cladh-na-h'-Anaid. There was 
once a building at Annat known as Talla-na-h*-Anaid — ue., 
the Hall of Annat (from Gaelic tcUla, a hall), but its stones 
were removed for building purposes. The hamlet stands on 
a bay called from it Bagh-na-h'-Anaid (Gaelic bagh, a bay). 

About a mile south-east of Kincardine-on-Forth, in Tulli- 
allan parish, is Longannat, noted for its freestone quarries. 
Mr David Beveridge says: "I have had a good deal of 
difficulty with the etymology of the name of this place, 
but am now disposed to regard it simply as Longan-aite, 
* the place of ships,' there being a fine roadstead for vessels 
in the immediate vicinity."* This etymology is unlikely, 
as it inverts the arrangement usual in Gaelic compound 
words. One is tempted to regard long as equivalent to 
lann, a church ; but the origin of the word is obscure. In 
a charter temp. Robert II. (1371-90), Annotturis, in the 
barony of Durisdeer in Dumfriesshire, is mentioned ; but 
the meaning of the name is doubtful. We find Annatland 
in New Abbey parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, and in Tibber- 
mure parish, Perthshire. In Kirkinner parish, Wigtown- 
shire, is Annat Hill, on the farm of Kirkland of Longcastle.* 
Another Annat Hill is in New Monkland parish, Lanark- 
shire.^ Near Stirling is Craigannet; and in Crossmichael 
parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, is Ernanity, an altered form, 
according to Sir Herbert Maxwell, of Ardna-annuid, signify* 
ing the Height of the Church.* 

' Vol. XX. p. 89. ^ Culross and TuIHallan, vol. ii. p. 379. 

» Gall. Top., p. 54. * R. M. S. » Gall. Top., p. 179. 

348 ANNAT. 

In 1627 we read of a portion of land at Kintore in 
Aberdeenshire called Anatiscruik, and in 1635, of the lands 
of Annatstoun at Kinblathmonth, now Kinblethmont, in 
Inverkeillor parish, Forfarshire.^ Annatfield is a small 
property in West Calder parish, Mid-Lothian. Two and 
a half miles south-east of Oban is Loch Nell, and near it is 
Cleidh-na-H*-Annait, or the graveyard of Annat. In his 
' Loch Etive and the Sons of Uisnach,' * Dr R. Angus 
Smith says regarding the place : " It is an old burying- 
ground, walled round, and remarkable for having two small 
cairns in it, as if it were a meeting of heathen and 
Christian habits — that is to say, if cairns were always 

Off Montrose, in Forfarshire, is Annat, a sandbank of 
which vessels entering the harbour have to be careful ; but 
it has probably no ecclesiastical associations. Forbes gives 
Ennet and Ennell as variants of the name.' Alt-na-H'- 
Annait in Glenorchy parish — i.e.y the Burn of Annat — gets 
its name from an old burying-ground on its banks. It is 
thus referred to in Campbell's 'Book of Garth and For- 
tingair-.* "The 'annait' has got a strong topographical 
mortgage on * Beinn-dorain,' for the corrie far above on 
the cloud-capped heights is called * Coire-na-H'-Annait ' ; 
and the joyous stream bounding down from the corrie 
and passing more sedately by the old God's acre is *Alt- 
na-H'-Annait.' " 

Near Dunvegan in Skye is a triangular piece of ground 
called Anait or Ainnit, formed by the confluence of two 
streams. When Dr Samuel Johnson visited Skye, he had 
a discussion with the minister of Kilmuir regarding the 
spot, the latter holding that it was a heathen temple of the 
goddess Anaitis.*^ Boswell, in his * Life of Johnson,' re- 
marks: "We walked what is called two miles, but is 
probably four, from the castle, till we came to the sacred 
place. The place itself is green ground, being well drained 
by means of a deep glen on each side, in both of which 
there runs a rivulet. The first thing we came to was an 
earthen mound or dyke extending from the one precipice 

* R. M. S. » p. 262. » Kal., s.v. "Annat." 

* P. 49. • O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 359. 

ANNAT. 349 

to the other. A little farther on was a strong stone wall, 
not high but very thick, extending in the same manner. 
On the outside of it were the ruins of two houses, one on 
each side of the entry or gate to it. The wall is built all 
along of uncemented stones, but of so large a size as to make 
a very firm and durable rampart. It has been built all 
about the consecrated ground, except where the precipice 
is steep enough to form an enclosure of itself. The sacred 
spot contains more than two acres. There are within it 
the ruins of many houses, none of them large, a cairn, and 
many graves marked by clusters of stones. Mr M 'Queen 
insisted that the ruin of a small building, standing east 
and west, was actually the temple of the goddess Anaitis, 
where her statue was kept, and from whence processions 
were made to wash it in one of the brooks. There is a 
hollow road visible for a good way from the entrance ; but 
Mr M 'Queen, with the keen eye of an antiquary, traced it 
much farther than I could perceive it. There is not above 
a foot and a half in height of the walls now remaining ; 
and the whole extent of the building was never, I imagine, 
greater than an ordinary Highland house." 

In Appin was Anaid with its chapel, giving name to the 
house, croft, and rivulet of Annat, mentioned in a charter of 
1595, granted to Gillimichaell M'Ewin by Duncan Stewart 
of Appin.i Achna-H'-Anoid, at Leny in Glen-Urquhart, 
Inverness-shire, means the Field of the Church. Mr Wm. 
Mackay thinks that the cell there was probably the first 
built in Glen Urquhart.* Bal-na-h'-nait or Balnahanaid 
is the name of a farm in Glen Lyon in Perthshire, and 
signifies the Town or Homestead of Annat. In 1870 a 
quadrangular Celtic bell was discovered between the wall 
and the eaves of an old cart-shed on the farm. Dr Joseph 
Anderson, who mentions this, remarks regarding the bell: 
" Its discovery was due to the fact that sometime previously 
Mr Charles Stewart, Tigh-n'-Duin, Killin, had directed the 
attention of Mr Robert Stewart, the farmer of Bal-na-h'-anait, 
to the significance of the name of his farm as indicating 
an ancient ecclesiastical connection; and when the bell 

^ O. P. S., vol. ti. p. 167. ^ Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 356. 

350 ANNAT. 

was subsequently noticed by his nephew, its character was 
recognised, and it was thus saved from the fate which would 
otherwise have befallen it as an apparently worthless bit of 
old iron.^ In front of Balnahanait farmhouse is an ancient 
and now disused burying-place where stone coffins have 
been unearthed.* 

1 Scotland in Early Christian Times, First Series, p. i8i. 
' Christie's The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, p. 44. 



** Terra Templaris^* — MlRtary Order — Introduction into Scotland — The 
HoipitaUers — Balantrodacb — Temple — Templand — Templar residences — 
Preceptories — Patron Saint — St Germains — TempUton — Temple-- 
house — TemplehiU — Templehall — Temple Acre, isfc, — Temple Craigtouny 
isfc, — Templestanes — Use of Cross — Temple not altvays Templar, 

Some notes on the influence of the Knights-Templars on 
Scottish Topography may be of interest, as showing what 
a hold these knights had on the land of the realm. When 
glancing over the charters in the * R. M. S.,* one is struck 
with the recurrence of the phrase " terrse templariae " applied 
to portions of land once belonging to the Order. The 
names of many places, as we shall see, have temple either 
alone or in combination with some other word. The in- 
fluence of the knights was indeed widespread. As Spottis- 
wood remarks : " This Order was very rich, and had above 
9000 Houses in Christendom ; and amongst us there was 
scarce a parish wherein they had not some lands, farms, or 
houses."^ Even when their possessions were small, care 
was taken, in later times, that they should not be lost sight 
of. Thus we find a charter, of 19th December 1620, granted 
" to Sir Robert MacWillam of a temple-land in the midst 
of his eight merkland of Kirkchrist extending to three 
acres of land or thereabouts, and of another temple-land 
lying in the midst of his lands of Chapelton, extending to 
six acres or thereabouts in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright." * 
The military order of the Templars took its rise early in 

^ Keith's Bishops, p. 455. ' Templaria. 


the twelfth century in connection with the Crusades. It 
was founded in 1118 or iiig by nine French knights, chief 
among whom were Hugh de Payens and Geoffroy de St 
Omer, for the purpose of guarding the Holy Sepulchre and 
the roads traversed by pilgrims to its shrine. Baldwin II., 
King of Jerusalem, gave the knights a settlement on the 
site of the Temple, and hence they were known as Brethren 
of the Soldiery of Solomon's Temple (**Fratres Militias 
Templi Salamonis"). Pope Honorius gave them his bless- 
ing ; and the statutes of the Order were drawn up by St 
Bernard of Clairvaux at the Council of Troyes in 1127. 
The members of the Fraternity took the usual monastic 
vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but their life 
differed widely from the monastic ideal. As J. A. Froude 
says : " They were not humble men of peace, meek recluses, 
whose time was divided between cloister and garden, whose 
chief duty was to sing masses for the souls of erring mankind. 
They were soldiers to whom peace was never known, who 
were to be for ever in the field on desperate and dangerous 
errands. They were men of fiery temper, hot of blood and 
hard of hand, whose sinew had to be maintained in as much 
efficiency as their spirits. They wore a white mantle — 
emblem of purity ; and on their left shoulder was displayed 
a red cross with eight points, conferred at a later date by 
Pope Eugenius III. Their standard was black and white, 
and bore the motto, ' Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed 
nomini tuo da gloriam.' Hunting and hawking were for- 
bidden, but special exception was made in the case of lions, 
which the knights were allowed to destroy. The Order 
grew rapidly in numbers and wealth."^ 

Thoughout Europe gifts of land were bestowed on the 
knights, and they had various privileges granted by the 
Popes, such as exemption from tithe, feudal service, and 
interdict. They enjoyed self-government, being under the 
rule of the Grand Master, who was elected by the Order, 
and was responsible to the Pope alone. For administrative 
purposes Western Europe was divided into eleven provinces, 
England including Ireland, and Scotland and Wales being 

> Vide the Templars in the * Spanish Story of the Armada,' by 
J. A. Froude. 


one.* The Templars were deemed worthy of trust in 
money matters, and treasure was often deposited with 
them for safe keeping. Thus, certain sums collected in 
Scotland for crusading purposes by a friar - preacher of 
Ayr, — Ivo by name, — and deposited in Whithorn Priory, 
were ordered in 1262 to be sent either to the House of 
the Templars in London or to a certain firm of Floren- 
tine merchants.^ 

The Templars were settled in London about the year 
1 135, and were introduced into Scotland during the reign 
of David I. (1124-53). David made them his spiritual 
guides,^ and gave them a settlement at Balantrodach, now 
Arniston, in Mid-Lothian, on the South £sk. Surviving 
documents supply but few particulars regarding the life of 
the Scottish Templars. Mr Robert Aitken remarks : " Our 
old chroniclers, while sometimes describing the exploits of 
the Templars in Palestine, never mention the organisation, 
estates, or membership of the Order at home, nor does the 
list of our extant monastic chartularies include any collec- 
tion relating to a preceptory of Scottish Templars. The 
early extinction of the Order, and the probable fact that 
most of its Scottish muniments were kept elsewhere than 
in Scotland, will help to account for this want of 
information." * 

Their prosperity reached its high -tide mark during the 
thirteenth century. Chalmers says : " In 1236 Alexander 
IL granted a charter to the Knights of the Temple con- 
firming the donations of his predecessors, and by private 
subjects, of lands, men, revenues, churches, and other 
property to be held with ample jurisdiction. He exempted 
them from all toll, in fairs, at the passage of bridges, roads, 
and seas throughout his whole kingdom. And he gave to 
them and their men various other privileges, exemptions, 
and special protections for themselves, their lands, and 
goods."* Towards the end of the same century the 

^ **The Knights-Templars in Scotland," p. 5, by R. Aitken in *The 
Scottish Review,' July 1898. 
^ Papal Registers (Letters), vol. i. p. 384* 

' Pinkerton's Lives of the Scottish Saints (ed. 1889), vol. ii. p. 376. 
^ The Scottish Review, July 1898, p. 2. ^ Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 768. 



Templars were brought into connection with Edward I., 
when the king was in the north endeavouring to subvert 
the liberties of Scotland. In 1291 Friar Brian de Jay/ 
Preceptor of the Soldiery of the Temple in Scotland, swore 
fealty to Edward in his chamber in Eklinburgh Castle ; and 
five years later, Friar Johan de Sautre, Master of the 
Chivalry of the Temple in Scotland, did the same at 
Berwick-on-Tweed* As a reward for this submission, the 
Templars had their lands which had been forfeited by 
Edward restored to them. 

The fall of the Templars came suddenly. Early in the 
fourteenth century a plot was hatched between Philip IV. 
of France and the weak pope, Clement V., who too easily 
yielded to the pressure of the French king. The king 
wanted money, and the Templars were rich. Why should 
not their wealth become his ? There may have been other 
motives guiding Philip, but there is reason to believe that 
lust of gold strongly influenced his conduct. He sent to 
the Pope a series of grave charges against the members of 
the Fraternity, accusing them of sorcery, apostacy, and 
various forms of immorality. On December 10, 1307, 
Edward II. of England wrote to the Pope that he could not 
credit the horrible charges brought against the Templars, 
as they bore a good name throughout his realm. Neverthe- 
less within the next few days he ordered their apprehension 
in England, and five days later sent out instructions for their 
simultaneous arrest in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. On 
29th September 1309 the king ordained that the Scottish 
and Irish Templars should be sent to Dublin to be ex- 
amined ; but as regards Scotland he seems to have suddenly 
changed his mind, for five days later he requested that the 
inquisitor sent thither to examine the knights should be 
respectfully treated, and about the same time ordered that 
those of them who were still at large north of the Tweed 
should be arrested and kept in safe custody.' Severe 

1 Brian de Jay was killed at the battle of Falkiric in 1298. Bainsford, 
formerly Briansford, in its neig-hbourhood, is said to have derived its name 
from him. — Vide 'Scottish Place-Names of Scotland,' j. v. *' Bainsford." 

* Calendar of Scottish Documents, vol. ii. pp. 125, 202. 

* Syllabus of Rjrmer's *Foedera,' vol. i. pp. 148, 149, 158, 159^ In 


measures were taken in France. History has much to tell 
of the sufferings of the Templars there from the morning 
of October 13, 1307, when they were flung into prison, till 
the evening of March 18, I3i4» when their Grand Master, 
Jacques de Molay, and one of the preceptors were burned 
to death at Paris. In Germany and on this side of the 
Channel, the knights, though kept in prison for some time 
and despoiled of their possessions, were not subjected to 
personal violence.^ The Order was formally abolished by 
a papal Bull of Clement in March 13 12. 

On the suppression of the Templars their possessions in 
most of the European countries passed to the rival order 
of the Hospitallers, otherwise known as the Knights of St 
John of Jerusalem. In 1313 Edward IL of England, in 
obedience to the command of the Pope, ordered the delivery 
to the Hospitallers of the lands, churches, and tenements 
formerly belonging to the Templars, and at the same time 
instructed the sheriffs of thirty -seven counties to protect 
the Hospitallers in obtaining possession of the same.^ In 
Scotland, too. Temple property became Hospital property, 
and continued such till the Reformation. In later times 
we find traces of the double ownership. Thus, in a Peebles* 
shire Retour of April 10, 1683, certain Templar lands are 
said to comprise the lands of St John's Hill and St John's 
Croft, named after the patron -saint of the Hospitallers. 
A large part of the estate of Whitehaugh, in Tullynessle 
and Forbes parish, belonged to the Templars. One of its 
fields is known as Temple Close, and another as St John's 
Close.* In a precept of 8th August 161 5 we read of the 
three-quarter temple-land called the temple-land of St John, 
in the barony of Menstries and sheriffdom of Clackmannan.^ 
This change of ownership led to confusion regarding the 

* Spottiswoode Miscellany,' vol. ii. pp. 7-16, is a " Processus Factus contra 
Templarios in Scotia, 1309," regarding which the editor remarks: *'A 
perusal of this document leads to a conviction that the charges brought 
against the Templars, at least so far as regards this country, were un- 
founded, and that the persecution of the Pope arose from jealousy or 
cupidity — ^probably both." 

^ Chartularies of Torphichen and Drem, p. 2. 

^ Syllabus, vol. i. p. 181. ^ N. S. A., Aberdeen, p. 447. 

^ Chartulary of Drem, p. 6. 


original possessors of certain lands. Not only did temple 
lands retain their name after passing to the Hospitallers, 
but the same designation was likewise applied in certain 
cases to the original possessions of the Knights of St 

Balantrodachy already referred to, was the chief seat of 
the Templars in Scotland, and their House there was called 
" Domus Templi in Scotia." * We find a reminiscence of 
the name in Temple parish, formed after the Reformation 
by the union of the ancient parish of Clerkington with the 
chapelries of Morthwait and Balantrodach. Long before 
that date, however, the barony of Balantrodach was also 
known as Temple. In the fifteenth century an attempt 
was made by Sir William Knolls, Preceptor of Torphichen, 
who had acquired the lands of Halkerston adjoining Balan- 
trodach, to substitute the name of Temple for that of 
Halkerston; but the attempt failed, even though backed 
up by an Act of Parliament.* The pre- Reformation church 
of Temple was used as a place of worship till about 1832, 
when a new one was built. It is now an interesting ruin, 
measuring 55 feet by 17 feet g inches internally, and con- 
tains a piscina, sedilia, and an arched recess some six feet 
long, thought to have been an Easter sepulchre. The exact 
date of the structure is not known ; but there is reason 
to believe that it belongs to the fourteenth century, and 
that it was begun by the Templars and finished by the 

Temple is found elsewhere in Scotland — eg., in the 
parishes of Marykirk, Scone, Largo, and St Boswells. 
A farm in Kinneff parish, Kincardineshire, is known as 
The Temple. Near Glasgow, in New Kilpatrick parish, is 
Temple ; and not far off are Knightswood and Jordanhill. 

^ That temple was thus used goes to show that the name was held in 
repute in Scotland after the Order was abolished. 

* There is a tradition that the foundations of a larg^e building* were dis- 
covered in the seventeenth century in a garden in the neighbourhood. — 
'Scottish Review/ July 1898, p. 6. 

' Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 813, note. 

^ Transactions of Edinburgh Architectural Association, vol. i. p. 32 ; and 
MacGibbon and Ross's Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, vol. ii. 
p. 491. 


In Eaglesham parish is the farm of Temples, and there 
is a Temples on the lands of Buteland in Currie parish. 

Lands of the Templars are represented in topography by 
Templand, Templeland, and Templelands. Thus we find 
Templand near Cumnock, and in the parishes of Lochmaben 
and Benholme ; Templeland in those of Forgue, Kenneth- 
mont, Colinton, Dreghorn, and Stevenston; and Temple 
Lands in those of Leslie (Aberdeenshire), Kinne£f, Inver- 
keilor, Forteviot, Carnbee, Corstorphine, Dairy, Biggar, 
Kirkurd, Oxnam, and Tinwald. It is not to be presumed 
that the knights were necessarily resident on lands bearing 
the name of their Order. In addition to their House at 
Balantrodach, they had establishments in various districts. 
The principal of these, according to Spottiswood, were at 
Aboyne and Tulloch in Aberdeenshire, Maryculter in Kin- 
cardineshire, Oggerstone ^ in Stirlingshire, and St Germains 
in East Lothian. Spottiswood adds : ** Inchinan, in the 
shire of Renfrew, also belonged to them, with several other 
places in Eskdale, and towards the border of England." 
The ancient church of Inchinnan, built where the present 
parish church stands, was removed in 1828, and when the 
floor was dug up it was found paved with skulls.^ In the 
churchyard are four large slabs, evidently the lids of stone 
coffins, bearing an incised sword, and locally known as 
" The Templars' Graves."' Inchinnan church was granted to 
the Order by David I., and when the other churches of Strath- 
gryfe were bestowed on Paisley Abbey by its founder, Walter 
Fitz-Alan, the church in question was specially excepted.* 

The church of Aboyne, with its chapels, lands, tithes, &c., 
became the property of the Templars in the thirteenth cen- 
tury, having been given to them by Radulphus, Bishop of 

^ Spottiswood calls Ogg^erstone a fort and barony founded by St David. 
*' As a matter of fact," observes Mr Aitken, ** *baillia de Og'ereston apud 
Stiucle' was not in Scotland at all, but within the territory belonging- to 
the English earldom of Huntingdon." — 'Scottish Review,' ut supra, p. 11. 

a O. P. S., vol. i. p. 78. 

' N. S. A., Renfrew, p. 124. ''Near the ruined church of St Kentigema, 
on Inchcailleach in Loch Lomond, is a stone called The Templar's Grave, 
having no lettering, but marked by an incised sword with IPS on the 
hilt." — ^J. Guthrie Smith's 'Strathendrick,' p. lox. 

* Reg. de Passelet, p. 5. 


Aberdeen, and confirmed to them by Alexander II. in 1241.^ 
The writer of the article on Abojme in the 'N. S. A/* 
observes: ''It is a remarkable fact that some fields near 
the castle still bear the name of Tiran Teampull — uc, the 
Templars' Ground." Certain lands at Maryculter were 
granted to the Templars by William the Lion. On the 
other side of the Dee was the church of Peterculter, be- 
longing in 1287 to Kelso Abbey. In that year the knights 
obtained from the abbot the privilege of having a chapel 
on their own lands, mainly on the ground that the Dee 
had no bridge there, and was often difficult to cross. '' The 
chapelry/' remarks Cosmo Innes, ** soon rose into a separate 
parish, and in this transaction we have the origin of the 
parishes of Peterculter and Maryculter, separated by the 
Dee."* Dr A. Walker tells us that the Templars' church 
at Maryculter was used as the parish church till towards 
the end of the eighteenth century, and adds : " A portion 
of one of the walls of this old building is still standing. 
Part of the walls of the preceptory were included in the 
walls of the residence built by Sir Gilbert Menries, the 
proprietor of Maryculter, erected in 1728. There was pre- 
served, on the farm of Tilburies in the neighbourhood, a 
carved black oak door, said to have been the door of the 
room of the Grand Master."* It is not, however, likely 
that this door dates firom Templar times. Mr John Edwards 
mentions that while the Templars had upwards of forty 
preceptories in England, they had only two in Scotland — 
viz., Balantrodach and Maryculter, As Mr Edwards re- 
minds us, "Preceptories were established for a twofold 
purpose : (i) as a recruiting-ground and training-school for 
the young members of the Order; and (2) as a source of 
revenue. Every preceptor required to make a periodical 
return of his revenue and expenditure, and remit the 
balance, if any, to headquarters, to be applied to the 
general purposes of the Order." * 

^ Reg. Epiac. Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 273. * Aberdeen, p. 1055. 

* Sketches of Early Scotch History, p. 14. 

* The Knights Templar in and around Aberdeen. 

" ** The Temple Barony of Maryculter " in Trans. Glasgow Archfieological 
Society, New Series, vol. iv. p. 196. 


The Templars had the Virgin as the patroness of their 
Order, and one is disposed to look for traces of her cultus 
in localities where they owned land. At Inchinnan, for 
instance, the church had an altar to the Virgin, and con- 
nected with it was Lady Acre. There is a Lady's Well 
at Aboyne, and the name of Maryculter contains that of 
the Virgin herself. The knights had land in Ardersier 
parish, Inverness-shire, where fragments of a large building 
were visible till the beginning of the eighteenth century at 
Dalyards. The building was surrounded by a fosse, which 
was still to be seen in 1841.^ Aberdeen was also a home 
of the Templars. Kennedy says : " A branch of this Order 
had a convent and church situated at the east end of the 
Castlegate, in the lane which was formerly distinguished 
by the name of Skipper Scott's Close. Those knights had 
also acquired some property in the Nether Kirkgate, and 
in other parts of the town." * 

The name of St Germains in East Lothian, already re- 
ferred to, is undoubtedly old, for in the Ragman Rolls, 
under date 1296, we read of "Bartholomeu mestre de la 
meson de Seint Germeyn." In assigning St Germains to 
the Templars, Spottiswood is in error, and his mistake has 
been perpetuated by later writers. In 1494-95 the House 
of St Germains and most of its revenues were handed over 
by James IV. to the newly-founded college of St Mary's 
(afterwards King's) at Old Aberdeen. It is an interesting 
circumstance that the college, in addition to being dedicated 
to the Virgin, had, among other patrons, St Germanus.* 
A Bull of annexation was granted by Pope Alexander VI. 
on 9th February 1495-96, and in it the Master of the Hos- 
pital is described as in the regular habit of the Order of 
the Cross-bearers with the Star (of Bethlehem) under the 
rule of St Augustine ('' in habitu regulari ordinis crucifer- 
orum cum Stella sub regula Sti. Augustini ").* These Cross- 
bearers had a number of Houses throughout Europe in 
mediaeval times. They looked after the sick, &c., but 
were different from the Hospitallers or Knights of St John. 

^ N. S. A., Inverness, p. 470. * Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 77. 

' Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. xi. p. 67, note. 
^ Fasti Aberdonenses, p. 9. 


Dr T. G. Law informs me that '' they had a black habit with 
a red cross with three points, under which was a red star 
attached to the left side." Dr Law adds : *' The cross comes 
not from the crusades, but from legends connected with St 
Helena's discovery of the cross at Jerusalem." 

There were Templar lands at Kinblethmont in Inver- 
keilor parish, Forfarshire, where we still find a Templeton.^ 
Newtyle in the same county, and Kildrummy in Aberdeen- 
shire, have each a Templeton. The name is probably not 
a very ancient one, and does not imply that the knights 
had a residence on the land so named. The word points 
to some toun or collection of houses built on Temple property. 
Cognate in meaning is Temple House, occurring in the 
parishes of Loudoun and Currie. The Peel-tower, at " Town 
of Manner" in Peeblesshire, was known as the Temple- 
House, because it and some adjoining lands were at one 
time the property of the Templars.* 

Templehill is found in different parts of the country — eg., 
in the parishes of Loudoun, Eddleston, Muthill, Glenbervie, 
and Cupar. Black, in his 'History of Brechin,'^ says: 
** There are pieces of ground — one on the estate of Southesk 
at Dalgetty, called the Templehill, and another on the 
estate of Cairnbank, close by Brechin — bearing the title of 
'Templehill of Bothers.*" There is a Temple-hall in the 
parishes of Ormistoun, Aberdour, and Hopkirk, and on the 
lands of Castle-Huntly in Longforgan parish. Meigle parish 
has a Temple Hall, where in 1858 some ancient sculptured 
stones were accidentally discovered in an old corn kiln.* 
In Whitsome parish, Berwickshire, there was once a col- 
lection of cottages known as Temple Hall. In the neigh- 
bourhood was a spring called Temple- Well, and in the same 
parish some acres went by the name of Temple-lands.* At 
Wallans, in Carluke parish, is a fragment of a place of 
strength known as Castle- Wallans or Temple- Hall.® 

A piece of land in the ancient parish of Mow, united to 
Morebattle in the seventeenth century, was known as 
Temple Acre. We find a Temple Croft at Harlaw in Aber- 

^ Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 325. ^ N. S. A., Peebles, p. 116. 

' Pp. 256, 257. * Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 294. 

* N. S. A., Berwick, p. 172. * Ibid., Lanark, p. 582. 


deenshire, at Cowie near Stonehaven, at Cathkin in Lanark- 
shire, and at Dargo near Invergowrie. The last, in evident 
ignorance of the origin of its name, was styled in a charter, 
in 1642, Triple Croft. There is a Temple Croft on the 
estate of Thornton in Bourtie parish, Aberdeenshire. 
Turriflf, in the same shire, has a Temple -Brae and a 
Temple-Feu to the south of the town. We find Temple- 
field between Nisbet and Gladsmuir in Haddingtonshire, 
Templefurde near Arbroath, Templebank in Fordoun parish, 
Kincardineshire, " Temple Bog Wod " at Ayr, and Temple 
Hirst {i.e., Wood) in the Barony of Balantrodach.^ Such 
names as Temple Craigtoun in Abercom parish, Temple- 
Essie in Essie parish, and Temple Liston, now Kirkliston, 
in the Lothians, tell of Templar ownership. So does 
Temple-Denny, the upper division of Denny parish, Stir- 
lingshire, where part of the land was known as the Guirth 
— i.e., the Sanctuary.^ 

Temple-stanes ' is a farm in RafTord parish, Elginshire, 
two and a half miles -from Forres. The late Dr James 
Macdonald favoured me with the following facts, procured 
from a friend in the north, and throwing light on the second 
half of the name : " Near the farmhouse are four upright 
stones, rough, and now at least bearing no marks of any 
tool. They make more of a square than of a circle, and 
occupy a space of about ten feet square. But there are 
appearances of other stones between them. Two of the four 
are higher than the other two, measuring three feet six inches 
to four feet." The first half of the name is not so clear, 
though one is inclined to believe that the farm was part of 
a Templar manor. A survival of Templar ownership was to 
be found in modern times in the presence of a cross on 
houses built on ground once the property of the Order. 
Chambers, in his 'Traditions of Edinburgh,'* says that there 
were houses at Bowfoot, and along one side of the Grass- 

^ Chartularies of Torphichen and Drem, p. 23. 

* N. S. A., Stirling-, p. 117. 

' Some prehistoric standing' stones, called the Kemple or Temple Stanes, 
stood on Boath Hill in Carmyllie parish till eariy last century.—* N. S. A.,' 
Forfar, p. 357. 

* P. 64. 


market, bearing a cross '^ on some conspicuous part,— either 
an actual iron cross or one represented in sculpture. The 
explanation is that these houses were built upon lands 
originally the property of the Knights-Templars, and the 
cross has ever since been kept up upon them, not from any 
veneration for that ancient society, neither upon any kind of 
religious ground : the sole object has been to fix in remem- 
brance certain legal titles and privileges which have been 
transmitted into secular hands from that source, and which 
are to this day productive of solid benefits. A hundred 
years ago the houses thus marked were held as part of the 
barony of Drum in Haddingtonshire, the baron of which 
used to hold courts in them occasionally." At the time 
when Chambers wrote the first edition of the work just 
named (viz., in 1825), he tells us that there was only one 
house thus distinguished. In * Templaria ' ^ is the following 
entry : *' Temple Court Book, beginning eighth June 1710, 
and ending twenty-fourth August 1731, wherein the vassals 
from several counties compear, and give suit and presence 
in the said Court, produce their writs, and the Bailie or- 
daining the Cross of St John to be affixed on the Temple 
Lands within the burgh, and ammerciating such as did not 
affix the said cross." 

Temple sometimes occurs in our topography, particularly 
in the Highlands, without having any connection with the 
Templars. In this case it is merely the Gaelic teampuU^ 
signifying a church, and applied, as Petrie has pointed out, 
to one of stone.^ In Ireland the word occurs repeatedly, 
there being, according to Joyce, fifty parish names beginning 
with the word temple.^ Among the Western Islands we find 
such names as Teampull Pheadair, St Peter's Church, in 
Lewis ; Teampull Patrick, St Patrick's Church, in Tiree ; 
and Teampull Rona, St Ronan's Church, on North Rona. 
Near Crossapoll, in Tiree, is a piece of ground called 
Templefield, so named from a chapel whose site alone re- 
mains. There is another Templefield near the head of Kyle 
of Tongue in Sutherland. In the parish of Urquhart and 
Glenmoriston we find Temple (An Teampull), dedicated to 

^ p. 8. ^ Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland, p. 144. 

* Irish Place-Names, p. jo6. 


St Ninian, and Templehouse (Tigb an TeampuiU), probably, 
as Mr MacKay suggests, the residence of the officiating 
cleric.^ In Knockbain parish is James's-Temple, consisting 
of the remains of some standing stones to the east of 
the spot where the clan battle of Blair-na-Coi is said to 
have been fought, in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, 
between the Macdonalds and the inhabitants of Inverness.^ 
In Fodderty parish, Ross-shire, we find Temple Croft (Gaelic 
Croicht-an-Teampuil). It is situated a little north of the 
burying-ground, and in it several stone coffins were at one 
time dug up.' 

^ Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 585. ' O. S. A., vol. xti. p. 273, note. 

' N. S. A., Ross, p. 252. 



S fitted — Tsbytty — Medunjcd hospitals — GUnshee^ iffc — Dainaspidal — Hos- 
pices of religious houses — ^* Hospitalities " — Trinity Friars — Trinity 
Hospital^ SoutrOf and Edinburgb — Hospital of St Mary Magdalene^ 
Edinhurghf and Rutherford — Maison Dieu^ Jedburgh — Other Rox" 
Burghshire hospitals — Berivickshire — Dumfriesshire — St Leonard's 
Hospital^ Peebles — Galloway — St Leonardos Hospital^ Lanark — Biggar 
— Camnvath — Cambuslang — Rutherglen — Poimadie — Glasgow — 
Lennox — St Cuthber^s Hospital^ Ballencrufy fjfc. — St Mary Magdo' 
lene^s Hospital^ Linlithgow — Torphichen and the Hospitallers — Mid- 
Lothian — Stirling — Fife — Perthshire — Hospital-Jield — Montrose — 
Brechin — Shires of Elgin^ Aberdeen^ and Ross — St Magnuses Hospital^ 
Caithness — Leper Hospitals. 

Spittal occurs repeatedly in Scottish topography, and 
points to the existence of an hospital at or near the place 
so named. In England, too, we find Spittal, and in Wales 
Ysbytty, from Latin hospitium. The word itself, however, 
fails to tell us the exact nature of the charitable foundation 
in any given case. Mediaeval hospitals^ were founded for 
a variety of purposes. Sir J. Y. Simpson says: "Some 
of the hospitals in these early times were founded for the 
reception of the sick and infirm, others for lepers, many 

^ A law was passed in Scotland on the sixth of March 1457 — temp, James 
II. — ^anent the reformation of hospitals. *'It is sene spedfiill that Our 
Soverane Lord charge his chancellar quhilk of lawe aucht to vesy the bos- 
pitalys ffldyt be the king*, and paj iune to him the ordinar of ilk diocese and 
other twa persons of good conscience to visit the said Hospitalles. And 
quhair they can get the foundations of them to garre them be keiped. And 
quhair na foundation can be gotten to make inquisition of the cuntrie, and 
refer to the King to see the remeid therefore." — ' Acts of Scots Parliaments/ 
vol. ii. p. 49. 


for the poor and aged, and a considerable number for the 
gratuitous entertainment of pilgrims and travellers." ^ 

When speaking of the mountainous district where the 
shires of Perth, Kincardine, and Aberdeen meet, Mr A. J. 
Warden remarks : " The Spital was one of the benevolent 
institutions of the Romish Church. The passes leading 
over the Caimwell, the Capel, and the Cairn-o'-Mount 
are long, bleak, lonely ways, destitute of accommodation 
for pilgrims or travellers. In each of these they erected a 
spital, in which attendants and provisions were kept for 
man and beast journeying over them. The Spital of Glen- 
shee, south of the Caimwell, was one of these. Another 
was the Spital of Glen Muick, close by the loch of that 
name, on the north side of the Capel. The third was the 
Spital of Glen Dye to the north of the Cairn-o'-Mount."* 
The first of these is still remembered in the hamlet of 
Spittal of Glenshee at the head of the glen, 1125 feet above 
the sea; and the last in Spittal Burn in Strachan parish, 
Kincardineshire. There is another Spital Bum in Nigg 
parish in the same shire, which falls into the Dee between 
Potheugh and Kincorth. Jervise thinks that "the name 
possibly shows that the abbots of Arbroath had a hospice 
or lodging there, for the convenience of pilgrims and 
travellers when on their way to and from the North."' 

No one traveUing on the Highland Railway from Perth 
to Inverness can fail, if interested in scenery, to notice how 
wild the country becomes after Blair Atholl is passed. 
Fifteen miles north of that station, at the height of more 
than 1350 feet, is Dalnaspidal, amid a tract of moorland 
charming enough when the autumn sun is shining on the 
heather, but eminently dreary amid the snows of winter.* 
Near the station is the shooting-lodge of Dalnaspidal. The 
name means the Field of the Hospital, and recalls the 
hospice that sheltered many a weary wayfarer. No remains 
of the building, however, are now to be seen. Dr Rogers 
remarks : "By religious houses ' hospices ' were in the 

^ Archaeol. Essays, vol. it. p. ao, note. * An§^s, vol. i. p. 18. 

* Epitaf^s, vol. ti. p. 18. 

^ The summit level, some two miles north of Dalnaspidal station, is 1484 
feet above the sea. 


adjacent town leased on condition that strangers as well 
as their own members might be lodged and entertained. 
By the Cistercian abbey of Cupar were owned two hospices 
at Perth and one at Dundee. The abbey also provided 
^spitals/ or houses of refreshment, in isolated localities. 
These were leased with the condition that food and pro- 
vender were kept for man and horse." ^ In former times 
hospitals were known in Scotland under the name of 
"hospitalities." Thus we read in the 'Register of the 
Privy Council/^ that by a royal decree dated 15th Feb- 
ruary 1561-62, it was ordained that ''all annuellis, males 
and dewiteis within fre burrowis or utheris townis of this 
realme " were to be collected for behoof of " hospitalities, 
scolis, and utheris godlie usis.'* 

The Trinity or Red Friars, styled also Mathurines, from 
their house in Paris dedicated to St Mathurin, were estab- 
lished about 1 198 for the purpose of redeeming Christians 
who had been made slaves by the infidels, one-third of the 
revenues of the Order being devoted to that object. Their 
houses were called hospitals or ministries.' Spottiswood, 
in his 'Account of Religious Houses,' mentions that their 
house at Aberdeen, founded by William the Lion, was 
built "where now the Trades Hospital stands, and Trinity 
Church." * 

About seventeen miles to the south-east of Edinburgh 
once stood Trinity Hospital near the summit of Soutra 
Hill, at the height of 1184 feet above the sea. It was 
founded by Malcolm IV. in 1164 for behoof of pilgrims, the 
poor, and the sick. From the 'N. S. A.'^ we learn that 
"a causeway, leading from the vale of the Tweed to 
Soutra, and still traceable among the sinuosities of the 
mountains, bore the significant name of Girthgate, meaning 
the Asylum or Sanctuary Road." An aisle of the church, 
still used as a family burial-vault, is now all that remains 

' Social Life in Scotland, vol. i. p. 73. ' Vol. i. p. 202. 

* Spottiswood says: **By a bull of Pope Innocent III., dated the 21st 
June 1209, it appears that they had six monasteries in Scotland whilst he 
was pope. Thereafter the number increased amongst us, and at the 
Reformation we find mention of thirteen houses." His list, however, is not 
quite accurate. 

^ Keith's Bishops, p. 395. ° Mid-Lothian, p. 556. 


of the hospital buildings. A spring in its neighbourhood, 
known as Tarnty or Trinity Well, was much resorted to 
in mediaeval times by health -seekers. When, in 1462, 
Mary of Gueldres, wife of James II., founded Trinity 
Church and Hospital in Edinburgh at the north comer of 
Leith Wynd, she transferred the endowments of the Soutra 
hospital to the new charity. The latter was designed '' for 
the maintenance and clothing of thirteen poor persons." 
The building was removed in 1845 in connection with the 
construction of the North British Railway. The hospital 
of St Mary Magdalene, for the support of seven poor men, 
was situated in the Cowgate, east of the Greyfriars' 
monastery. It was founded early in the sixteenth century 
on the site of a Maison Dieu which bad then become 
ruinous. In the * Register of the Privy Council of Scot- 
land,'^ under date 1590, we read of "collector, bedes- 
men, and hospitallers of Sanct Marie Magdalen." The 
chapel of the hospital, with its remains of ancient 
stained glass, is still an interesting landmark of old 

Cosmo Innes tells us that at Rutherford, in Maxton 
parish, Roxburghshire, were an hospital and chapel, ''dedi- 
cated to Saint Mary Magdalen, or, according to the earliest 
records, to the Virgin Mary."' Writing in 1834, ^^^ 
author of the parish article in the *N. S, A.'* says: "Of 
these buildings there are now no remains ; but the church- 
yard, which had long ceased to be a burying-place, was 
ploughed up only about twenty-five years ago, and the 
grave-stones were broken and thrown into drains by an 
improving farmer." Roxburghshire, indeed, was well sup- 
plied with charitable institutions. Jedburgh had a Maison 
Dieu founded at an early date ; but there are now no traces 
of the building, though its land is still known as the Maison 
Dieu Acres. Its master swore fealty to Edward I.* in 1296. 
On the right bank of the Teviot opposite the castle of 
Roxburgh, at a hamlet called by Blaeu Maison Dieu, once 

* VoL iv. p. 502. 

^ Wilson's Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time, vol. ii. p. 400. 
' O. P. S., voL i. p. 398. ^ Roxbuiigh, p. 1 18. 

' Jeffrey's History of Roxburghshire, vol. ii. p. 108. 


Stood the preceptory or Maison Dieu of Roxburgh, dedi- 
cated to St Mary Magdalene. Morton, in his ' Monastic 
Annals of Teviotdale,' ^ tells us that "on the spot which 
was once its garden, daffodils and primroses still continue 
to spring up annually." There was also an hospital in 
Cavers parish. Cosmo Innes says regarding it : " In the 
extreme north of the parish existed an hospital, whose site, 
though its nature and purpose are forgotten, is commem- 
orated by the usual abbreviation of its name — the term 
' Spital.' " ^ The spot being near the Rule Water, was 
formerly known as SpittalrouU. 

The Knights of St John of Jerusalem had a preceptory 
or hospital at Ancrum, whose site is identified by Morton 
with the " Maltan Walls," where vestiges of buildings were 
visible till about 1837. In 1606 the R. M. S. has a reference 
to " terras dominicales de Spittel vocatas Ancrum-spittell." 
The parish of Crailing comprises the ancient district of 
Spittal, at one time included in the parish of Jedburgh, and 
named from an hospital which stood on the site of the 
Marquess of Lothian's mansion of Monteviot, on the north 
bank of the winding Teviot. Till about 1835 there were 
traces of a burying-ground near the site of the mansion,* 
connected doubtless with the hospital. In 1606, among 
other lands in the neighbourhood, the ' R. M. S.' mentions 
Spittelstanes.* In Eckford parish, on the right bank of the 
Kale near its junction with the Teviot, is a place known 
as Spittelbanck or Hospital Lands, where at one time an 
hospital for lepers is believed to have stood.^ In Ednam 
parish are the lands of Spittal, so called from an hospital 
dedicated to St Leonard.* The canons of Dryburgh Abbey 
own some land at Ednam, which they granted "to the 
master and congregation of the hospital of St Leonard at 

* P. 320, ' O. P. S., vol. i. p. 337. 
' N. S. A., Roxburg'h, p. 181, note. 

* It is possible that Spittlestanes may have been connected with the 
Knights of St John at Ancrum, already referred to. Some land near 
Biggar in Lanarkshire, belonging to the knights in question, was named 
"The Stane."— *0. P. S., ' vol. i. p. 133. 

" O. P. S., vol. i. p. 397. 

* As may be seen from other examples in this chapter, St Leonard was 
often chosen as patron of hospitals. 


Edinham for half a mark and a pound of incense yearly." ^ 
There is also a Spittal in Smailholm parish. The origin of 
the hospital at Hassendean is thus noticed by Morton:^ 
'* There was a dispute between King William and Josceline, 
Bishop of Glasgow, concerning the patronage of the church 
of Hastanden, which they both claimed; and as it could 
not be otherwise satisfactorily settled, they agreed that the 
revenues and property of the said church should be devoted 
to some work of charity. The bishop, therefore, with the 
consent of the king, conferred the patronage thereof, with 
its lands, tithes, and dues, upon the convent at Melros, to 
be expended in founding and maintaining a house of hos- 
pitality at Hastanden for the reception and entertainment 
of the wayfaring poor, and pilgrims journeying to Melros 
Abbey. The hospital was afterwards called Monks' Tower." 

So much for Roxburghshire. Hospitals can also be 
traced in other Border counties. There was one at Leger- 
wood in Berwickshire, for, as Spottiswood tells us, Nicol 
de Lychardeswode, guardian of the hospital there, swore 
fealty to Edward I. of England in 1296. Lauder, too, had 
an hospital at that time, for in the year just mentioned the 
name of its master is recorded.^ Chalmers states that it 
was dedicated to St Leonard, and alludes to two hamlets 
near its site called Over and Nether Spital. St Leonard is 
the name of a property in the neighbourhood.* St John's 
Hospital in Hutton parish, founded before 1296, has given 
name to Spittal Mains and Spittal House. Berwick,^ accord- 
ing to Chalmers, had two hospitals — a Domus Dei and St 
Mary's, and, close to the town, another dedicated to St 
Mary Magdalene.® There were also hospitals in Strafontane 
parish at Aldcamus and at Horndean, the last having had 
St Leonard as patron. 

Dumfriesshire, according to Chalmers, had hospitals at 
Sanquhar, Holywood, and in the ancient parish of Trail- 

' Morton's Monastic Annals, p. 305. ' Ibid., p. 272. 

* Keith's Bishops, p. 476. * Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 348. 

* One mile south-east of Berwick, on the south side of the Tweed, is 
Spittal, a sea-bathing resort, deriving its name, in all probability, from St 
Bartholomew's Hospital at Tweedmouth. — Dugdale's *Monasticon Angli- 
canum,' vol. vii. p. 772. 

' Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 347r 

2 A 



trow, united to Cummertrees in 1609 ; and a preceptoiy of 
the Knights of St John at Ruthwell. In addition to these 
he mentions an hospital near Annan, to the south, at a 
place called Spital ; and another to the north-west of the 
town giving name to How-Spital and Spital-ridding.^ Amis- 
field, in Tinwald parish, had a Spittelrig ; and in the neigh- 
bouring parish of Lochmaben was the dyke of Spittelrig.^ 

Peeblesshire had an hospital for the infirm and poor a 
mile and a half to the east of the county town. The exact 
date of its foundation is uncertain, but it was in existence 
about the middle of the fourteenth century. It is usually 
called St Leonard's Hospital, but sometimes St Lawrence's.' 
About a mile and a half farther to the east is Spittalhope 
Burn, and a mile up the bum from the Tweed is Spittel- 
hauche. Close to the river Lyne, folly a mile to the south 
of West Linton, is '*a place called Spittelhaugh, beside 
which is a park called Chapel Hill, where several stone 
cofiins have been found, denoting, perhaps, that here of 
old stood an hospital and a chapel. A neighbouring spring, 
which bears the name of Paul's Well, probably preserves 
the name of the apostle under whose invocation they were 

We also find examples in Galloway. Thus in Kirk- 
mabreck parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, is Spittal, where, 
according to Chalmers, once stood an hospital beside a 
rivulet called the Spittal Burn; and in Stoneykirk parish, 
Wigtownshire, are two hamlets, Mickle and Little Spittal. 
Chalmers says: '^The stream that runs between them 
drives a mill called Spital Mill, and the sea creek into 
which this stream falls is called Port Spital." ^ Spittal is 
also found in Penninghame parish. According to Sir 
Herbert Maxwell these Wigtownshire Spittals were so 
called from their connection with the Hospitallers who 
owned land at the places named.^ 

Lanark, like Peebles, had anciently an hospital, dedicated 
to St Leonard, about half a mile to the east of the burgh. 
It was founded probably temp. William the Lion, and its 

^ Caledonia, vol. tii. p. 154. 
' O. P. S., vol. i. p. 230. 
' Caledonia, vol. iiL p. 423. 

« R. M. S, 

^ Ibid., p. 190. 

• Gall. Top., 5.V. »*Spittal." 


ruins were visible till towards the end of the eighteenth 
century. Cosmo Innes states that it '* was endowed with 
a land of the value of ten pounds of old extent, called 
Spittal Shiels, a large tract of pasture now attached to 
the parish of Carluke, as well as with certain acres, near 
the burgh of Lanark, called St Leonard's Mains." The 
same authority adds : '' To the chapel of the hospital there 
were attached a cemetery and an ecclesiastical district, 
comprising chiefly its own lands, which long bore the name 
of Saint Leonard's Parish." ^ When the collegiate church 
of St Mary was founded at Biggar in 1545-46 by Malcolm, 
Lord Fleming, Chamberlain of Scotland, it was endowed 
for a provost, eight canons, four choristers, and six bedes- 
men; and there is reason to believe that these bedesmen 
had an hospital at a place marked Spittal by Blaeu, close 
to the Candy Bum, called also the Spittal Burn in 

Another Spittal is to be found in Carnwath parish. 
Cosmo Innes remarks concerning it : *' Near the place 
where the burn of Carnwath meets the South Medwyn is 
a spot of ground called * Spittal.' It was a land of forty 
shillings extent, the property of the Somervilles, and 
probably derived its name from an hospital endowed for 
eight bedesmen by Sir Thomas Somerville in the be- 
ginning of the fifteenth century." • At Cambuslang there 
is said to have been an hospital, two miles to the east of 
the church, giving name to Spittal and Spittal Hill in its 
neighbourhood. Hamilton, too, had an hospital; and in 
a charter of 1367 reference is made to a portion of land 
called Spitelholme connected with it.* Mr J. T. T. Brown 
remarks: "John Howison, in 1615 (when James, Marquess 
of Hamilton, mortified to the Hospital in Hamilton the 
lands of Chapel and Vicarland at Cambuslang), in the same 
deed, made a bequest of 2000 marks, the profit of which 
was to be applied towards the maintenance of two poor 
men of Cambuslang."^ About a mile to the south of 
Rutherglen is Spittal, and in the ' R. M. S.,' under date 

' O. P. S., vol. i. p. 120. ' Ibid., p. 133. 

' Ibid., p. 126. ^ Hamilton of Wishaw, p. 17, note. 

' Cambuslang, The Place and its People, p. 71. 


1607, the lands of Spittelquarter are named as situated in 
the burgh. On the lands of Polmadie, about a mile and a 
half north-west of Rutherglen, once stood an hospital for 
poor men and women. It was founded before 1249^ and 
had St John as its patron. No vestiges of the building now 
remain^ but near its site is '^ a dilapidated well built of good 
masonry." Regarding it Mr A. M. Scott remarked in a 
paper read before the Glasgow Archaeological Society : "It 
is difficult to say how old this masonry may be. One would 
like to think that it was the actual well which supplied the 
old hospital with water." ^ Glasgow had a St Ninian's 
Hospital, to be referred to later, and a St Nicholas's Hos- 
pital near the Bishop's Castle, believed to have been founded 
by Bishop Andrew Mureheid (1455-73). "In 1476 it is 
called ' Hospitale pauperum ' ; in 1487, * Hospitale Glas- 
guense ' ; and in 1507, * Hospitale Sancti Nicholai.* " Near 
the Stable -green in the same city was another hospital, 
founded in 1524 by Holland Blacader, sub -Dean of 

There were various hospitals in the Lennox, though little 
is known regarding their history. In 1450 the collegiate 
church of St Mary at Dumbarton was founded by Isabella, 
Countess of Lennox ; and connected with it was an hospital 
for several "beadsmen."* Spittal-Burn, near Dumbarton, 
is named in a charter of date 1531 in the * R. M. S.'; and 
in another, of date 1642, we find a reference to the temple- 
lands called " Spittell of Tombowie in Lennox." The lands 
of Spittal near Auchentorlie in Old Kilpatrick parish had 
connected with them a fishing on the Clyde east of Dunglas, 
known as the " Spittale-schot." * There was a Spittal at 
Arngibbon, some three miles to the south-east of the Lake 
of Menteith. Referring to Balfron, Cosmo Innes says: 
"About a mile distant from the village there is a place 
called Spittal, which, with another known by the name of 
Ibert (in Gaelic ' sacrifice '), indicates the former existence 
in the parish of religious establishments whose character 
and history are now alike unknown. It may be remarked 

' Transactions, New Series, vol. i. p. 521. 

^ Marwick's Glasgfow Charters, Part I., P* 57* 

' Irving's Dumbartonshire, p. 316. * R. M. S. 


that the parishes of Drymen, Balfron, and Killeam have 
each an Ibert,^ apparently connected in some measure with 
the church and the Spital." * 

Spittal in Balfron parish, here alluded to, is probably the 
same as the hospital lands of Camoquhill, which belonged, 
according to Mr Guthrie Smith, first to the Templars and 
then to the Hospitallers.' Ballikinrain is an estate in 
Killeam parish, long in possession of the Napiers, cadets 
of the old Earls of Lennox. Mr Guthrie Smith says: 
'* Thomas Napier of Ballikinrain succeeded his father in 
15 14, and soon became engaged to Margaret Flemyng, and 
in order to make due provision for her, he obtained a charter 
from George, Lord St John, Preceptor of Torphiqhen, of 
the temple -lands of Ballankinrane, vulgarly called the 
Hospital of Innerreith." * We find a Spittaletoun in Kil- 
maronock parish. The church of the parish was granted in 
1324 by Robert L to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth. In 
1528 the abbot cited, among other parishioners, John 
Buchanan of Estir Catir and Spittaltoune, for failing to pay 
his teind sheaves.^ 

The district of Lothian had several hospitals dating from 
early times. At Ballencrieff, in Aberlady parish, Hadding- 
tonshire, was an hospital dedicated to St Cuthbert. It was 
founded in the twelfth century, but the exact date is not 
known. There are now no remains of the building.* Some 
land at Ballencrieflf is referred to in the * R. M. S.,' under 
date 1495, as " le Spittal-Crag." At Gosford, Spital, in the 
same parish, was another hospital, but there are now no 
remains to indicate its site. Trinity Hospital at Soutra 
has already been referred to. There were other hospitals 
in Haddingtonshire — e.g., St Mary's Hospital in the county 

^ Muir, in his ' Ecclesiological Notes ' (p. 36), states that in the neigh- 
bourhood of the ancient buiyin£f-£fround of Kilmaluag', in Skye, is a well 
locally styled Tobar-Heibert. Heibert is probably the same as Ibert. 

' O. P. S., vol. t. p. 40. 

* Strathendrick, p. 22. Some writers are too apt, when the origin of 
a Spittal is doubtful, to take for granted that it was connected with the 
Knights Hospitallers. It seems clear, however, that the hospital lands of 
Camoquhill and Innerreith did belong to the knights in question. 

* Strathendrick, p. 195. ^ Reg. Mon. de Cambuskenneth, p. 220. 

* N. S. A., Haddington, p. 253. 


town, St Lawrence's Hospital, giving name to the hamlet 
of St Lawrence; and St Germain's Hospital at Seton, 
referred to in the previous chapter. This last is still 
remembered in the name of the mansion-house of St 

Linlithgow had an hospital dedicated to St Mary Mag- 
dalene, which took the place of a religious establishment 
belonging to the Knights of the Order of St Lazarus. The 
latter foundation seems to have fallen into decay, and was 
reorganised during the reign of James L as an hospital for 
the entertainment of pilgrims. It stood at the foot of 
Pilgrim-hill, to the east of the burgh, and gave name to 
Spittal-croft in its neighbourhood. The patron saint of 
the hospital was long remembered in a local fair called 
Mary Magdalene's. On the ground where the fair was 
held once stood St Magdalene's Cross. 

Four and a half miles south-south-west of Linlithgow is 
Torphichen, where was built in the twelfth century the 
preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers. Concerning it and 
its owners Mr John Edwards, in his * Torphichen and the 
Knights of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland,'^ observes: 
''In the village stands the parish church, surrounded by 
the old graveyard; and immediately to the east, and 
abutting on the gable of the church, is the partially ruinous 
but roofed building, known locally as The Quier, being the 
transept of a church of which the nave and chancel are not 
now standing. This building is all that now remains of the 
headquarters in Scotland of one of the most renowned 
orders of the Middle Ages — the Knights Hospitallers or 
Knights of St John of Jerusalem. ... In its origin — owing 
its birth to pious merchants of Amalfi — it was not a military 
order; and its original patron saint was neither St John 
the Baptist nor St John the Evangelist, but St John the 
Almoner, a Cypriote, who had been Patriarch of Alexandria. 
Early in the twelfth century it became military, and adopted 
the Baptist as its patron. Thereafter it preserved, like its 
sister order the Templars, its semi-clerical, semi-laic char- 
acter till its decline." At the Reformation the hospital 

^ Trans. Glasgow Archsological Society, New Series, vol. iti., Part II., 
PP- 309-339- 


lands of Torphichen were erected into a temporal lordship ; 
and Sir James Sandilands, the last preceptor, became their 
possessor, being at the same time raised to the peerage 
under the title of Lord Torphichen. Blaeu's map has no 
Spittal in the neighbourhood of Torphichen ; but we find 
Knightridge four miles to the south-east. 

Mid-Lothian had several hospitals. There was one at 
Newhall, in Penicuik parish, on the North Esk. The 
writer of the article on the parish in the ' N. S. A.'^ says: 
^'Newhall House seems in former times to have been the 
seat of a religious establishment of some note. Lying on the 
confines of a very extensive and desolate waste, and on the 
line of the principal route from Edinburgh to the south-west, 
from whiqh at this point there was a pass over the Pentlands 
to the north, it seems to have been originally intended to 
serve as a hospice for the shelter and refreshment of 
travellers, over what must have been at the time a dreary 
tract of country." In its neighbourhood are the hills known 
respectively as the Wester and the Easter Hill of Spital. 
Between them, occupying a hollow on the margin of the 
Spital Bum, is the Fore Spital, with some venerable trees 
about its walled-in garden. On one of the slopes of the 
Wester Hill are, or were, the foundations of a building called 
the Back Spital.^ 

Edinburgh had a number of hospitals, more or less famous. 
In addition to Trinity and St Mary Magdalene's, already 
referred to, there were St Mary's Hospital near the head of 
St Mary's Wynd, the Hospital of Our Lady in Leith Wynd, 
St Thomas's Hospital in the Canongate, and St Paul's 
Hospital; while in Leith was St Nicholas's Hospital, giving 
name to St Nicholas's Wynd. In his ' History of Edin- 
burgh,' * published in 1779, Arnot says : " On the south side 
of the High Street, at the head of Bell's Wynd, there were an 
hospital and chapel known by the name of Maison Dieu. 
We know not at what time or by whom its was founded ; 
but at the Reformation it shared the common fate of popish 
establishments in this country. It was converted into 
private property. This building is still entire: it goes by 

' Mid-Lothian, p. 36. 

^ Pennecuik's Description of Tweeddale, p. 124, note. 

» P. 246. 


the name of the Clam-shell Turnpike, from the figure of an 
escalop shell cut in stone over the door." Another Edin- 
burgh hospital calls for mention — viz., St Leonard's, founded, 
according to Spottiswood, by Robert Ballantine, Abbot of 
Holyroodhouse. St Leonard's Lane divided the lands of 
St John's Hill and the Pleasance on the north from the 
Borough Moor on the south.^ Sir Daniel Wilson says: 
*^ On an eminence at the end of the lane stood the chapel 
and hospital of St Leonard, but not a fragment of either is 
now left, though the font and holy water stoup remained in 
Maitland's time, and the enclosed ground was then set apart 
as a cemetery for self-murderers. The hospital was one of 
those erected for the reception of strangers and the mainten- 
ance of the poor and infirm." Among the possessions of 
Holyrood Abbey towards the end of the sixteenth century 
are mentioned *' the aikeris callit Biedmannis Croft of Sanct 
Leonardis gait." In the ' Register of the Privy Council of 
Scotland,** under date 1581, a complaint is mentioned on 
the part of certain feuars within the regality of Holyrood- 
house against the abbot, and in it occurs the name of ^^ James 
Bellenden of Bak and Foir Spittellis." Another hospital 
dedicated to St Leonard was situated on the lands of Dal- 
housie, and gave name to the village of Westmill or St 
Leonards on the North Esk.* 

In Stirling was Spittal's Hospital, otherwise known as 
Nether Hospital to distinguish it from Cowan's or Over 
Hospital. It was founded by Robert Spittal for the relief of 
decayed merchants and tradesmen. Spittal was tailor to 
James IV. ; and among his other good deeds was the build- 
ing of a bridge over the Teith at Doune. Regarding the 
Nether Hospital, Mr J. S. Fleming says: "The only buildings 
now representing this hospital are a house in Spital Street 
(No. 82) and the Trades* Hall, with their inscriptions.*** 
The same writer remarks: **The Hospital of James the 
Apostle, situated in the orchard of that* name, now occupied 
by the Poor's House, and near to the Old Brig Mill, was 
also an almshouse." ' In 1602 * we find " Spittelfeild near 

^ Memorials of Old Edinburg-h, p. 313. ' Vol. iii. p. 4o6w 

* R. M. S., 1647. * The Old Ludgings of Stlriinsr, p. 94. 

> Ibid., p. 104. < R. M. S. 


Stirling," and in 1641 "Spitteltoun, Spittellandis, Spittel- 
kers," and their meadows, and also Spittellmyre, all near 
the burgh. 

Fife and Kinross had their mediaeval hospitals. One such, 
dedicated to the Virgin, stood at Scotlandwell, close to the 
Bridge of Loch Leven in Portmoak parish. It belonged to 
the Trinity or Red Friars, and was founded for behoof of 
the poor by William Malvoisin, Bishop of St Andrews, who 
died towards the middle of the thirteenth century.^ At St 
Andrews was St Leonard's Hospital, founded probably in the 
previous century for the accommodation of pilgrims who 
flocked to the shrine of St Andrew the Apostle. It gave 
name to St Leonard's College and St Leonard's parish. An 
hospital, also dedicated to St Leonard, once stood at Dun- 
fermline, near the lower end of the town. It was founded 
for the support of eight widows, who, besides receiving 
certain grants, were entitled to a small garden and a room 
in the hospital.* This charitable foundation is still remem- 
bered in Spittal Burn and Spittal Hill. There are other 
Spittals in Fife. Thus on Blaeu's map of the county we 
find Colheuch Spittel on the stream draining Loch Gelly; 
Spittel Mill lower down the same stream where it joins the 
Ore ; and Spittel in Strathore, near the junction of the Ore 
and the Lochtie, the last corresponding to the place alluded 
to in the * R. M. S.' in 1627 as Inverlochtie, alias Spittell. 
In the neighbourhood of Inverkeithing were the lands of 
Spittalfield ; and there is the village of Spittalfield near the 
Tay in Caputh parish, Perthshire. 

Perth had several charitable institutions connected with 
the priory of St Leonard, and with the chapels of St Anne, 
St Catherine, and St Paul. The priory left its name in 
Leonard's Ley, Leonard's Hall or Haugh, St Leonard's 
Bank, and St Leonard's Street. St Anne's Lane and Paul's 
Close are to be found in the burgh topography. The hos- 
pital of St Mary Magdalene stood about a mile to the south 
of Perth, and is still remembered in the name of Magdalene 
Hill and St Magdalene's Farm. A post-Reformation hos- 
pital for behoof of the poor of the city was founded in 1569 

1 Sibbaid's Fife and Kinross, p. 282. ^ N. S. A., Fife, p. 904. 


by Regent Moray in name of the young king, James VI. 
It was afterwards located in the chapel of Our Lady.^ At 
Dunkeld was St George's Hospital, founded by Bishop 
Brown in 1510 for the support of seven old men.' 

Fully a mile to the south-west of Arbroath is the estate 
of Hospitalfield. Jervise gives the following particulars 
regarding it : ** In connection with the abbey [of Arbroath] 
there was also a hospital or infirmary, of much the same 
nature as those of the present day. There was attached to 
it a chapel, which appears towards the close of the fifteenth 
century to have fallen into a state of great dilapidation ; and 
for the repair of this the rents of the lands of Abemethy and 
the chapel lands of Dron were mostly appropriated. The 
hospital, dedicated to St John the Baptist, stood nearly two 
miles south-west of the abbey ; and in 1325, when the lands 
are first recorded as being let by the abbot, the tenants 
were bound to build, during the first year of a five years' 
lease, a bam and byre, each forty feet in length. Upon the 
site of this old byre and bam the fine hall of the mansion- 
house of Hospitalfield is erected; and it is believed that 
the agreement regarding the erection of the byre and bam 
referred to furnished Sir Walter Scott with the locality of 
Monkbarns in his novel of * The Antiquary.' " * 

At Montrose was an hospital dedicated to the Virgin; 
and belonging to it, in the fifteenth century, were the lands 
of Spittalshiels in Kincardineshire, possibly the same as 
" Spittel-landis " in the kirklands of Abirluthnot (Marykirk) 
mentioned in the * R. M. S.' in 1602. Six years later we 
find a reference to " Spittelm3ar," * in the barony of Morphie- 
Fraser in Kincardineshire. Brechin had two hospitals: 
one was founded in 1572 by James VI. for the relief of the 
poor, the lame, and the miserable, orphans and destitute 
persons, the revenues being drawn from rents bequeathed 
in pre-Reformation times for masses and anniversaries. This 

' R. S. Pittis's Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 270, &c. 

^ N. S. A«, Perth, p. 993. ' Memorials, vol. i. p. 231. 

* Near Banff are the " Spital " and the " Spital Myar." These, Dr Wm. 
Cramond says, are occasionally referred to in old writingfs, but the pre- 
cise date of the hospital cannot be ascertained. — ' The Annals of Banff/ 
vol. ii. p. II. 



was known as the Hospital of Brechin. The other was the 
preceptory or Maison Dieu, with chapel attached, situated 
in the Maison Diea Vennel, a little west of the Timber 
Market.^ It was founded in 1264 by Sir William of Brechin, 
son of Henry, and grandson of David, Earl of Huntingdon 
and Gariocb, Lord of Brechin and Inverbervie, brother of 
William the Lion. Jervise says : " Part of the front and 
east walls of the Hospital, presenting several fine though 
decayed points of Early English architecture, with piscina 
and ambry, still stands in the vennel, and the original 
mason-marks are yet visible on many of the stones."' The 
rector of the High School is, ex officio y entitled to the 
revenues of the charity, and in legal documents is styled 
Preceptor of Maison Dieu. There is a farm of Maison 
Dieu to the north-west of the burgh. 

Some hospitals in the north-east of Scotland fall to be 
mentioned. On the outskirts of Elgin was the preceptory 
of Maison Dieu, ''an hospital for entertaining strangers, and 
maintaining poor infirm people.'" It was founded in the 
first half of the thirteenth century, but was burned in 1390 
by the Wolf of Badenoch at the same time as the cathedral. 
Some traces of the building were visible till towards the end 
of the eighteenth century ; but in 1835, ^ ^^ learn from the 
' N. S. A.,'* its site alone could be traced in the field where 
once it stood. The portion of land known as *' Sp3rtel croft " 
was connected either with the Maison Dieu or the Leper 
Hospital to be mentioned later. After the Reformation 
part of the revenues of the Maison Dieu continued to be 
used for behoof of the poor ; and in 1624 a Bead House was 
built, having inscribed on it " Hospitalium Burgi de Elgin." 
This house was replaced by another in 1846.* 

After referring to the Maison Dieu of Elgin, Shaw re- 
marks: ''Another such hospital, called St Nicholas Hos- 
pital, stood on the east bank of Spey ('juxta pontem de 
Spe'), at the boat of Bridge, where some remains of the 
buildings may be seen."® During the reign of Alexander 
III., Alexander Cumyn, Earl of Buchan, founded two hos- 

^ Black's History of Brechin, p. 255. 
* ShaVs Province of Moray, p. 265. 
» Gaz., S.V, " Elgin." 

' Memorials, vol. i. p. 183. 

* Elgin, p. 7. 

• Province of Moray, p. 263. 


pitals — one at Newburgh on the Ythan, and the other at 
Turriff. The latter was dedicated to St Congan, and main- 
tained *' a master, six chaplains, and thirteen poor husband- 
men of Buchan." In 1273 the founder bestowed on it the 
church of Turriif, which was also under the patronage of 
St Congan, who is locally remembered in the annual market 
known as Cowan Fair.^ The writer of the parish article 
in the 'N. S. A.'* suggests that some houses called Maison 
Dieu indicate the site of the hospital. An ancient hospice 
is believed to have stood in Monkeigie parish, where we 
still find Spital as a place-name.* St Thomas's Hospital 
at Aberdeen, known later as "The Beadhouse," was situated 
near St Nicholas's Church. It was founded in 1459 by 
John Clatt, a canon of Aberdeen, for the reception of in- 
digent persons. At Old Aberdeen an hospital was founded 
by Bishop Gavin Dunbar in 1532 " for the benefit of twelve 
old men who, by misfortunes or otherwise, might happen to 
be reduced to indigence, particularly inhabitants of the 
bishop's lands, who enjoyed a preference to all others." * 
Between Old and New Aberdeen was another hospital, to 
be referred to presently. 

Cosmo Innes remarks : " There were hospitals in Ross in 
the fifteenth century. In 1457 the chancellor of Ross and 
William Urquhard in Crumbathy were appointed by King 
James II. to assist his chancellor in visiting and reforming 
them."^ In connection with Rosskeen parish the same 
writer says : " In 1597 Gilbert Gray was served heir to his 
father, John Gray of Fordell, in the lands and town of 
Hospitill, in the earldom of Ross, of the old extent of ten 
shillings. The lands of Hospitill appear to be the same as 
those of Obstuill or Obsdale, on which a chaplainry was 
founded in the cathedral church of Ross."* Spittal in 
Killearnan parish recalls an hospital said to have belonged 
to the Knights Hospitallers.^ 

In Caithness is Spittal Hill, between the parishes of 

^ Antiquities of Aberdeen and Banff, vol. ii. p. 337, note. 

^ Aberdeen, p. 988. * Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 301. 

* Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. pp. 78, 315. 

* O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 525, note. * Ibid., p. 469. 
' O. S. A., vol. xvii. p. 355. 


Halkirk and Watten. The origin of the name is thus ex- 
plained by Cosmo Innes: "The church of St Magnus, 
either founded by that saint or dedicated to him, and 
originally attached to an hospital of which the nature is 
unknown, stood a few miles south from Halkirk, near the 
foot of the hill named from it Spittalhill. Its foundations, 
sixty feet by twenty, part of its walls, and its cemetery, the 
burial-place of the clan Gunn, still remain. Around it, and 
at some distance, were numerous buildings apparently con- 
nected with the hospital, and among these one larger than 
the rest, at a place named Auchinarras (the Field of the 
Altar)." ^ St Magnus's Fair is held annually in the village 
of Halkirk, on the Tuesday before the 26th of December. 
In the early part of the thirteenth century the parish of 
Halkirk was divided into the parishes of Skenand, Halkirk, 
and the Hospital of Saint Magnus or Spittal, but these were 
subsequently reunited.^ 

A special class of hospitals calls for mention in conclusion 
— viz., those devoted to the support of lepers. As is well 
known, the disease of leprosy was very common in the 
Middle Ages, and Scotland shared with the rest of Europe 
in its ravages. Even during the eighteenth century it 
existed in Shetland, where those attacked by it were kept 
apart on the island of Papa-Stour. In mediaeval times 
leprosy was a subject of legislation. During the reign of 
James I., in the year 1427, in a parliament held at Perth, 
a law was passed enacting, inter alia, that '*na Lipper 
Folke sit to thig [beg] neither in kirk nor kirkyaird, nor 
other place within the burrowes, but at their own hospital, 
and at the port of the towne and other places outwith the 
burrowes." Lepers were under the special charge of the 
Knights of St Lazarus, who, during the reign of King 
Stephen, had their headquarters in England at Burton 
Lazars in Leicestershire. Their only house in Scotland, 
as far as is known, was the one at Linlithgow already re- 
ferred to. Cireighton, in his ' History of Epidemics,* * re- 
marks: "Most of the leper - spitals of Scotland would 
appear to have been of the poorest kind, unendowed, and 

1 O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 758. * Ibid., p. 756. « Vol. i. p. 99. 



unprovided with priests." They were ^'mere refuges in 
which the lepers supported themselves by begging." Over 
some of them, as Sir J. Y. Simpson informs us, '' chaplains 
and religious officers with the high church title of priors 
were placed."^ When begging, the lepers had a cup or 
dish to receive the alms of the passers-by. At Greenside 
Leper-Hospital, Edinburgh, founded by the magistrates in 
1589, the inmates were forbidden to go abroad on pain of 
death; and Arnot mentions that ''a gallows was erected 
at the gavel of the hospital for the immediate execution of 
offenders."^ Liberton in Mid- Lothian and Libberton in 
Lanarkshire mean Leper Town. There are no traces of 
the hospital at the former, nor is there any tradition 
regarding it; but we know that in certain old docu- 
ments the lands of Upper Liberton are styled the lands 
of "Spittleton."» 

At Elgin was " Spetelflat," a piece of land situated next 
to the houses of the lepers (''juxta domos leprosorum de 
Elgin ").* About the year 1226 an hospital for seven lei>ers 
was endowed at Rathven in Banffshire, in connection with 
St Peter's Church there, by Sir John Bisset of Lovat, 
founder of Beauly Priory.* " In the chapter of gifts to 
this hospital," remarks Sir J. Y. Simpson, "Alexander is 
spoken of as the reigning prince, the preamble to the grant 
declaring that the endowment was bestowed 'for the love 
of charity, for the soul of King William, and for the sal- 
vation of my noble lord King Alexander.'"* An hospital 
dedicated to St Peter, for behoof of the poor and the sick, 
was founded, between Aberdeen and the old town, in the 
time of William the Lion, by Matthew Kyninmunde, Bishop 
of Aberdeen. Adjoining it was a chapel to St Anne, built 
in 1519. In 1574 it was decreed that the provost and magis- 
trates of Aberdeen should " uptak fra James Leslie, present 
possesseour of the croft and myre pertening to the lipper- 
folk betuix New and Auld Aberdene, the yeirlie dewitie 
thairof," and apply the amount, along with other sums, 
"to caus the said hous be theikkit and reparit for the 

^ Archaeol. Essays, vol. ii. p. 23. 
' Archaeol. Scot., vol. i. p. 293. 
B Keith's Bishops, p. 478. 

' History of Edinburgh, p. 258. 
* Reg. Episc. Moray, p. 129. 
' Archaeol. Essays, vol. ii. p. 43. 


ressett of the said lipperfolk in tyme cuming."^ At the 
same date we read, in the ' R. M. S.,' of ^* Spittelhill " at 
Aberdeen near the Leper House, and eleven years later of 
the lands of the Kirktoun of St Peter's Hospital near Aber- 
deen. The ground belonging to the hospital was known 
as the ^^Spital," a name still familiar to the dwellers in 
the Granite City. 

At Uthrogal, in Monimail parish, Fife, is a site believed 
to have been a pre- Reformation burying-ground, where a 
stone coffin, containing two skeletons, was dug up sixty or 
seventy years ago. From the *N. S. A.'* we learn that 
'' Uthrogal was formerly a leper hospital, and, with the 
lands of Hospital Mill in the adjoining parish of Cults, 
was given by Mary of Gueldres to the Trinity Hospital 
at Edinburgh." 

St Ninian's Leper Hospital at Glasgow stood a little way 
to the south of the old bridge leading across the Clyde to 
Gorbals. The date of its erection is uncertain, but it may 
have been in use, as Mr Robert Renwick suggests, as early 
as the close of the thirteenth century. The building was 
known in 1494 as *' Hospitale leprosorum degentium prope 
pontem " ; in 1505 as ** Hospitale Leprosorum S. Niniani 
trans pontem"; and in 1587 as ''the puir lipper folkis 
house beyond the brig."' Hospital Street, at right angles 
to the river, is still a memorial of the building. In 1798 the 
Town Council sold a piece of ground in Gorbals opposite 
Adelphi Street, known as Lepers' Yard. Not long before 
1840 human bones were discovered where the cemetery of 
the hospital is believed to have been. The writer of the 
article in the 'N. S. A/^ mentions this, and adds: ''Near 
the centre of the main street of Gorbals an antiquated 
edifice, which has been called from time immemorial 'the 
chapel,' is still standing." This chapel was founded shortly 
before 1494 by William Steward, a canon of Glasgow 
Cathedral. Its later history is thus recounted by Mr 
Renwick: "Subsequent to the Reformation the building 

^ Rec. Privy Council, vol. ii. p. 59i. * Fife, p. 4Z. 

s O. P. S., vol. i. p. 19. Vide also <The Regality Club,' Fourth Series, 
Part I. ; ' The Barony of Gortials,' by Robert Renwick. 
* Lanark, p. 689. 


was long utilised as a court-house and prison for the barony 
of Gorbals. Denholm, in his * History of Glasgow/ pub- 
lished in 1798, mentions that the lower part of the chapel 
was then occupied as the parish school, and the two upper 
stories as a prison. New buildings for the judicial and 
criminal requirements of the barony were acquired about 
the year 1827, and thereupon the chapel was sold to a 
purchaser, who converted it into dwelling-houses and shops. 
The old buildings were at last removed under the authority 
of the Improvements Act of 1866." ^ 

The ground occupied by the hospital, &c., was known 
as St Ninian's Croft. An ordinance of the Town Council 
of Glasgow of 6th October 1610 enacts that **the Upper 
of the hospital sail gang onlie upon the calsie syde near the 
gutter, and sail haif clapperis, and ane claith upon thair 
mouth and face, and sail stand afar of, quhill they resaif 
almous or answer, under the payne of banischeing thame 
the toun and hospital."* 

Close to the highway between Ayr and Prestwick, on the 
outskirts of the latter burgh, stood a leper hospital dedi- 
cated, like the one at Glasgow, to St Ninian. This was 
Robert the Bruce's Kilcaiss, Kingiscase, or King's-Ease, 
founded by the king as a thank-offering for benefit received 
to his own health from the water of a neighbouring spring. 
Spottiswood says " it was founded for eight leprous persons 
who are each to have eight bolls of meal and eight merks 
Scots yearly : and if there is but one, he has the whole*" * 
A chaplain was provided for the lepers. In the time of 
Charles I. those who shared in the charity lived in huts 
in the vicinity of the chapel. " On the north-west side of 
the ruins of the hospital chapel," remarks Sir J. Y. Simpson, 
" the burial-place of the leper bedesmen is still pointed out, 
but the numerous and marked 'undulations of the green- 
sward' are their only tombstone."* Among the lands 
forming the endowments of the charity were those of Spital- 
schellis in Kyle Stewart;" and there is reason to believe 

^ '* Pre-Reformation Hospitals of Glasgow," by R. R. in 'Glasgow 
Herald ' of 9th August 1902. 

* O. P. S., vol. i. p. 19. ' Keith's Bishops, p. 476. 

* ArchsBol. Essays, vol. ii. p. 22, note. 


that Spittal in Symington parish and ''Spittale-bog" near 
Ayr mentioned in the ' R. M. S.' in 1546 were also con« 
nected with KiUcaiss. The right of presentation to the 
hospital was vested in the family of Wallace of Craigie. 
This right passed by purchase in 1787 to the burgh of Ayr» 
and its poorhouse became the lineal descendant of King 
Robert's Hospital. 

2 B 



ForU and early mitiionariei — Rathmuriel — Carbuddo — Caervjttming — B^h 
— Bute — Tlgh^n^Naomh and Si Cedd — Kirkton^ ts^c* — KirkseaUr — 
Selkirk — Monktotij isfc» — Prett'wick — Cbryston — St Jobfutm — 
Brydeston — Lauriston — Baileacbaihil — Balnaiiel, iffc, — Balmbaodan — 
Baile'Dbuicb and Balmadutbie — Bakormac — Balbirme — Balmungo—' 
Balglasste — Balmalcolm — Balmartin — Balluig and Balmohch — Bed' 
ihsoci and Balmokeuaii — Kistoktoun — Baimaba — Balmermo — BaU 
bunnocb — Botbelnie — BaHe-a-MbulUn-Eonan, 

In reply to the question, ** Where would missionary saints 
think of going with the view of converting heathen tribes ? " 
Mr Duncan Campbell remarks, '^ To the places where kings 
and chiefs assembled."^ This is probably correct. The 
early saints were wise enough to see that if they could 
persuade the chiefs to accept their message they would 
thereby make more way with the tribesmen. But this was 
not their only reason. When a chief became a Christian 
he could be counted on to supply protection to the mission- 
aries and their monastic settlements. What Dr Todd says 
of St Patrick is true of other Celtic missionaries: ''His 
ecclesiastical establishments were surrounded by fortifica- 
tions for the protection of the inmates ; and many of the 
most celebrated of them, as Armagh, Cashel, Downpatrick, 
Clogher, and others, were built in situations possessing 
natural advantages for defence, or near the already forti- 
fied habitations of the antient chieftains."^ St Fechin's 
monastic settlement, founded in the seventh century on the 

^ The Book of Garth and FortingaU, p. 59. 
* Life of St Patrick* p. 502. 


island of Ardoilean, off the Connemara coast, was surrounded 
by a stone ramparti remains of which are still to be seen ; 
and we read that in the twelfth century a certain saint from 
Ireland came to Scotland and built there an oratory sur- 
rounded by a vallum after the manner of the Irish ratk.^ 

Rathmuriely otherwise Christ's Kirk, in the Garioch 
district of Aberdeenshire, formerly a separate parish but 
now included in Kennethmont, represents the name of a 
saint in association with an ancient fort. The saint in this 
case was Muriel, who is mentioned among the virgins and 
widows in the Dunkeld Litany. When Jervise wrote his 
* Epitaphs and Inscriptions in the North-East of Scotland,' 
remains of her rath were still visible. He remarks : " The 
name of Rath -Muriel is both suggestive and interesting. 
It not only carries us back to the Pictish period, but shows 
that there was a fort or place of strength there which may 
have been the abode of the holy woman whose name it 
bore." Jervise adds : " It is a noteworthy fact that although 
the connection of the thanes of Cawdor with the district 
cannot now be traced, the name of Muriel has been from 
remotest record, and still is, a common Christian name for 
female members of that family."* There is a place called 
Muriel near the ruined kirk of Rathmuriel. In 1245 Sir 
William of Brechin granted the lands of Rathmuriel to the 
Abbey of Lindores. " On the 13th day of September 1258 
Pope Alexander IV. ratified the agreement made between 
the Bishop of Aberdeen and the Abbot and Convent of 
Lundoris, by which the vicar of Rathmuriel was 'to have 
twelve merks, the whole altarage of the church, a manse, 
with two bovates of land and the great tithes of the then 
cultivated land of the Nethertown of Rauthmuriell.' " * 

Rath, denoting a fort, occurs very frequently in Ireland, 
where, according to Dr Joyce, it is to be found in the names 
of about 700 town-lands.^ On the other hand it is rare 
with us. As the result of his investigations, Dr David 

1 Kal., s.v. " Michael." 

^ VoL ii. pp. 8, 9. With Rathmuriel may be compared Ebbchester in 
the county of Durham — i.e., St Ebba's Camp. 
' Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, voL iv. pw 501, note. 
* Irish Names of Places, p. 265. 


Christison remarks: ''It is clear that the evidence of the 
use of rath in the sense of fort in the existing place-names 
of Scotland is exceedingly meagre."^ With the meaning 
of fort the term is now obsolete in Gaelic ; but it survives 
in other senses. 

Carbuddo in Forfarshire, styled also Kirkbuddo, signifies 
the Fort of St Buite or Boethius, founder of the monastery 
of Monasterboice in Ireland. He was born in Londonderry, 
and| after spending some years in his native land, went to 
Italy, where he entered a monastery. Later he travelled 
northward, and is said to have met on his way a Christian 
company from Germany, comprising sixty men and ten 
virgins, who travelled with him to Scotland. There he is 
reported to have raised to life King Nechtan, who had 
recently expired, — ^a species of miracle often attributed to 
the early saints.^ After remaining a short time in the 
district he returned to Ireland, and died in 521, the year 
of Columba's birth.* Regarding St Buite Dr Skene re- 
marks: "If he entered the Pictish territories by the Firth 
of Tay, it is probable that the place formerly called Dun- 
Nechtan, or the Fort of Nechtan, and now corrupted into 
Dunnichen, in Forfarshire, is the place intended, and that 
the name of Boethius or Buitte is preserved in the neigh- 
bouring church of Kirkbuddo, situated within the ramparts 
of what was a Roman camp.*''* The fair at Aberdour in 
Aberdeenshire, known as Byth market, is said to have 
derived its name from St Buitte.* 

Caerwinning, in Dairy parish, Ayrshire, a hill 634 feet in 
height, is the Fort of Wynnin, who is also remembered in 
Kilwinning in the same county. Regarding Caerwinning 
fort the writer of the parish article in the * N. S. A/* 
remarks : '^ It appears to have been formed of three con- 
centric circles or walls of stone, inclosing a space of two 
acres. The greater part of the materials of which it was 
composed have been removed to build fences, &c. The 

^ Early Fortifications in Scotland, p. 317. 

' Chronicles of Picts and Scots, pp. 410, 411. 

' Moran's Irish Saints in Great Britain, pp. 167-169. 

^ Celtic Scotland, voL i. p. 135. ' N. S. A., Aberdeen, p. 273. 

* Ibid., Ayr, p. 219. 


outer wall cannot now be easily traced; but from what 
remains it appears to have been from ten to twelve feet 
in thickness* The entrance has been on the western side. 
The vestiges of a fosse or ditch are still visible at the foot 
of the hill. It must have* been a place of great strength, 
and commands a view of the surrounding country for many 
miles. It is believed that the Scottish army were encamped 
in this fortification previous to the battle of Largs.*' 

We have less warlike associations connected with both, 
a Gaelic word cognate with English booth and Scottish 
bothy, signifying a hut or temporary dwelling. The huts 
of our early missionaries were humble structures of reeds 
and wattles. Close to Walla Kirk beside the Deveron is 
a mound where, according to a local tradition, St Wallach's 
Hermitage stood. Fordoun states that Bute derived its 
name from the both or hut of St Brendan built by him on 
the island. He says: "When the faith of our Saviour 
had been diffused through all the ends of the earth, and 
the islands which are afar off. Saint Brandan constructed 
thereon a booth — in our idiom bothe, that is, a shrine. 
Whence henceforth and until our times it has been held 
to have two names, for it is by the natives sometimes called 
Rothisay — i.e., the Isle of Rothay, as also sometimes the 
Isle of Bothe (Bute)."^ Commenting on this Skene re- 
marks: "Though the old chronicler's etymology of the 
name of Bute is bad, the name of Brendan is preserved 
in the designation given to the people of Bute of *the 
Brandanes.' '* ^ 

Forfarshire has two examples of Both or Boath — viz., 
Fore Boath in Panbride parish, and Back Boath in Car- 
mylie parish, at each of which there was a chapel, the 
chapel at the former having been dedicated to St Law- 
rence.* In a charter of date 1360, David II. confirmed 
to the Bishop of Brechin a gift formerly made by Christina 
de Valoniis, Lady of Panmure, to the chapel of Both from 
the lands of Bothmernock. These lands seem to have de- 
rived their name from some hut associated with St Marnoch.* 

^ Chronicle of the Scottish Nation (ed. 1872), vol. ii. p. 24. 

^ Celtic Scotland, vol. ii. p. 77. * Jervise's Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 318. 

* Keg, de Panmure, vol. ii. p. 173. 


We find Gaelic tigh, a house, in Tigh-nhao or Tigh-n- 
naomh (Duneaves), near Fortingall in Perthshire — uc, the 
Saint's House, where Mr Charles Stewart places the 
residence of St Ceode — otherwise Cedd — brother of St 
Chad. St Cedd occupied the district of Fortingall for 
some time and was reckoned its patron saint. Near Dun- 
eaves is Dal-mo-cheode — i.e., the Field of St Cedd ; a 
local market is known as Feille-mo-cheode — i.e., St Cedd's 
Fair. The saint afterwards became a bishop among the 
East Saxons, and died in 664. Part of his relics are said 
to have been brought back to Fortingall and to have been 
buried under a stone, still known as Leac-mo-Cheode — ».f., 
the Flag-stone of St Cedd.^ 

A cluster of dwellings near a church often owed its name 
to its association with the neighbouring building. Accord- 
ingly we find Kirkton, Kirktoun, Kirktown, and Kirton,* 
just as in England we find Kirkby and Kirby with the 
same meaning. These Kirktons are numerous, but as 
a rule they are comparatively small in size, some of them 
being mere hamlets. The only one that has attained to 
parochial dignity is Kirkton, a Teviotdale parish of Rox- 
burghshire, containing Kirkton Farm, Kirkton Loch, and 
Kirkton Hill. The church stands three and a half miles 
east of Hawick. Such names as Chapelton, Chapelhouse, 
Corston, and Corsehouse also indicate a connection between 
certain buildings and a chapel and a cross respectively.^ 
To Scandinavian influence are due names like Kirkaby, 
Crosby, and Canonby (Danish by, a homestead or viUage) 
— i.e., the Town of the Church, of the Cross, and of the 
Canon respectively; and Kirkabister (Norse bolstadr, a 
homestead),* and Kirkseater (Norse saeter, a shieling),* 
signifying respectively the Homestead by the Church and 
the SheaJing by the Church. Life at these shielings, where 

^ Gaelic Kingtiom in Scotland, pp. 60-64. 

^ Kirkton and Kirton are also found south of the Tweed. For the origin 
and geographical distribution ofUm^ vide Appendix, I. 

' For examples, vide chaps, xii. and xiv. 

* Crossapol and Crossbost are the homestead by the cross. Vide 
chap. xiv. 

' There seems to be no authoritative spelling of this word. Jamieson 
gives six different forms. Vide his Dictionary, s.v. ''Sbeal.'* 


a month or six weeks were spent every summer, is thus 
described by Henderson in his 'Agricultural View of 
Caithness': ''About the 20th of June the house-wife and 
maid set out with the milch cows, perhaps from ten to 
twenty in number, to the shielings, where a booth or cabin 
was previously prepared for their reception; another for 
the milk vessels, and a small fold to keep the calves from 
the cows during the night. There they passed a complete 
pastoral life making butter and cheese, and living on curds 
and cream, or a mixture of oatmeal and cream." ^ 

Selkirk is the kirk beside the shielings, — Scheleschirche 
being an early form. When referring to the name, Mr T. 
Craig- Brown remarks : " More than probably the chirche 
was planted beside the scheles on the revival of Christianity 
in the time of Queen Margaret, after its eclipse in Scotland 
for nearly 500 years, which would make the name now about 
eight centuries old. The scheles, which must have been 
there before the church, were the huts or clachans of 
shepherds in charge of flocks out at pasture." * There were 
at one time two Selkirks — Selkirk Abbatis and Selkirk Regis 
— but these eventually coalesced into one Selkirk.^ The 
names of Monkton, Friarton, and Nuntown point to mon- 
astic life, while in Preston we get a glimpse of a priest's 
dwelling and also in Prestwick, the sufiix being Old English 
wic, a village. Sir Herbert Maxwell says: "Prestwick, near 
Ayr, might be either a bay or a dwelling ; but we know it to 
be the latter, and that it signified preost wic, the priest's 
dwelling; for in Norse it would have been Papa -vie, to 
signify ' priest's bay.' " * 

Chryston, in Cadder parish, Lanarkshire, is thought by Mr 
Johnston* to signify " Christ's village." A chapel was built 
at the village in 1779, and later the district around was 
formed into the present quoad sacra parish of Chryston. The 
ancient Elginshire parish of Dipple, united to Essil in 1731 
to form the present parish of Speymouth, had its church 
dedicated to the Holy Ghost. At its churchyard stile once 
stood a small building known as the House of the Holy 

^ Quoted in Calder's History of Caithness, p. 340. 

* History of Selkirkshire, vol. ii. p. 3. ' Ibid., p. 6. 

^ Scottish Land-Names, p. 90. * Scottish Place-Names, s,v. ''Chryston." 


Ghosti round which it was customary at funerals to carry the 
corpse sunways. This practice continued till the building 
was demolished, shortly before the year 1775.* 

Perth was known by the alternative name of St Johnstoun, 
its church having been dedicated to St John the Baptist.^ 
After referring to the origin of the Fair City, Camden re- 
marks : " Later ages, from the church built there and dedi- 
cated to St John, gave it the name of St John's town."^ 
We find the name in " St Johnston's hunt is up " — ^the titie 
of the slogan of the burghers of Perth ; and in the phrase 
'* St Johnstoun's ribbons," which came to mean a halter, but 
was originally applied to the ropes worn round the necks of 
300 citizens of Perth who, at the time of the Reformation, 
marched out under the Earl of Argyll and Lord James 
Stuart to prevent the forces of the Queen-Regent from cap- 
turing Stirling. The zeal of these citizens was such that 
they resolved that whoever ran away should be hanged by 
the rope which he wore/ 

The village of Dairy, in Kirkcudbrightshire, is otherwise 
known as the Clachan or St John's town of Dairy, its church 
having been also dedicated to St John the Baptist. James 
IV., in connection with his pilgrimages to St Ninian's shrine 
at Whithorn, passed through the village and made an o£fer- 
ing in the church, as we learn from the following entry of 
date 1497 in ' The Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer ' : * 
" Item at Sanct Johnis kirk at Dalrye, to the preist xiiijd." 
This is Heron's description of the place towards the end of 
the eighteenth century: "The river [Ken] appears advancing 
through a fine plain, or holm, cultivated on both sides. 
Above, on the east side, rises the village of St John's 
Clachan, the houses of which being irregularly scattered 
over a considerable space of ground, produce a finer effect to 
the eye than if they were arranged upon a more formal plan. 
The little crofts lying around them are all carefully culti- 
vated. The gardens are green with pot-herbs, perhaps 
neatly surrounded with hedges and sheltered by rows of 

* Shaw's Province of Moray, p. 335. 

' For an account of Burgh Seal vide Appendix, J. 

' Britannia, vol. iv. p. 134. 

^ Fittis's Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, pp. 98, 99. ' Vol. i. p. 356. 


trees. The houses have commonly thatched roofis. Yet a 
slate roof here and there diversifies their appearance. Be- 
neath the village and close upon the edge of the river stands 
the church of Dairy, and near it the manse, both decent 
buildings, and so situate as to produce a fine effect in the 
landscape." ^ 

Brydeston, in Airlie parish, Forfarshire, looks like the 
town of St Bridget of Kildare. Lauriston, an estate with 
the remains of an ancient castle in St C}nrus parish, Kin- 
cardineshire, is the town of St Lawrence the Martyr, whose 
chapel stood at Chapelfield. About the year 1243 Sir John 
of Strivelyn — the then owner of the estate — granted the 
chapel, together with a pound of wax yearly, to the prior and 
canons of St Andrews. Its old font was discovered last cen- 
tury buried among some rubbish, and was removed for safe 
keeping to the castle.' Lauriston, in Falkirk parish, was 
called not after St Lawrence but after Sir Lawrence Dundas, 
ancestor of the Earl of Zetland.' St Lawrence House, a 
hamlet about a mile west of Haddington, was so called from 
a chapel to St Lawrence, the patronage of which in pre- 
Reformation times belonged to the nuns of Haddington.^ 

The Gaelic bailcy^ a town or township, furnishes various 
examples of place-names with ecclesiastical associations, 
and usually appears in topography as bal. The form baile 
is found in Baileachaibil — i.e., Chapeltown, a name given 
to a cluster of houses on the west side of Loch Fad in Bute, 
the ruins of which are still visible. Dr J. King Hewison 
remarks : "Its name associates it with some chapel which 
must have existed prior to the parish church in the im- 
mediate vicinity, if we are to account for its necessity, or 
which was a memorial chapel that fell into desuetude. A 
circular well-built wall encloses an empty space on the 
south side overshadowed by ash-trees where the chapel 

^ Journey through Scotland, vol. ii. pp. 165, 166. 

^ Jervise's Memorials, voL ii. pp. 162, 163. ' N. S. A., Stiriing*, p. 24. 

* Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 515. 

^ Canon Isaac Taylor remarks: ** Bally, the anglicised form of bail/, is 
the commonest element in the names of Irish townlands, in 6400 of which it 
is found. It now means a townland, village, or town ; but its original 
meaning was simply a place, usually a place fenced round. Cf. the Latin 
vallum f Low Latin ballivum,** — 'Names and their Histories,' p. 59. 


may have stood." ^ Balquhapple, near Drymen, also means 
the Town of the Chapel. The chapel there was connected 
with the priory of Inchmahome. Balnakiel is the Town of 
the Church, Balnahanait or Balnahanaid the Town of the 
Annat or Mother-church, and Balnacross the Town of the 
Cross. Balnespicky Balnab, Balvicar, and Ballinsagart tell 
of a bishop, an abbot, a vicar, and a priest respectively. 

Bal is also found associated with the names of Celtic 
saints. The parish of Ardchattan in Lorn, united quoad 
civilia to Muckairn in 1637, was anciently known as 
Balmhaodan — i.e., the Town of St Modan, a missionary 
who flourished during the first half of the eighth century. 
Cosmo Innes remarks: "The old church of St Modan 
stands on a hill near the north shore of Loch Etive. It 
measures 57 feet by 22>^, and has only three windows, flat 
topped, and placed one in each end, and the third on the 
south side. Its cemetery is still in use, and near it is a 
spring, named Saint Modan's Well."* 

Tain, in Rosshire, is known in Gaelic as Baile-Dhuich — 
ue,, the Town of St Duthac, bishop and confessor, who 
died in 1068, and regarding whom various miraculous stories 
are told.* The writer of the article on Tain in the ' N. S. A.' * 
says : "In addition to the Gaelic appellations of the 
burgh and parish,* several other names with us are com- 
pounded from that of the saint. We have St Duthus' 
Fairs, St Duthus' Scalp (namely, the mussel - scalp), St 
Duthus' Cairn, St Duthus' Chapel, and St Duthus' Church ; ^ 
besides that, the burgh arms bear upon them the figure, and 
are inscribed with the title, of Sanctus Duthacus.'* St Duthac's 
Chapel, a granite structure now in ruins, was the reputed 
birthplace of the saint. Like St Ninian's shrine at Whit- 
horn in the south, it attracted many a mediaeval pilgrim. 
Cosmo Innes remarks: "In 1496, 1497, 1501, 1503, 1504, 
1507* and 1513 King James IV. made pilgrimages to the 
shrine of Saint Duthace at Tain (the last having been per- 
formed within a month of his death at Flodden), and on 

^ Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 255. ' O. P. S., vol. ii. p. 148. 

« Kal., S.V. "Ehithac/' * Ross, p. 287. 

" The parish is called Sg^re-Duich — f.«., Duthac's Parish. 
* Vide Neale's Eccles. Notes, pp. 62, 65. 


these occasions he made offerings (usually of the sum of 
fourteen shillings) in ' Sanct Duthois chapell quhair he was 
borne,' in * Sanct Duthois chappel in the kirkzaird of Tayn,' 
in ' Sanct Duthois kirk/ and at 'the stok of Sanct Duthois 
town/ and generally gave a gratuity to the man that bore 
* Sanct Duthois bell.' He possessed a * relict of Sanct 
Dutho set in silver (of what kind does not appear) which 
was doubtless preserved as having miraculous power of 
healing, and which continued in the hands of his son, King 
James V,, down at least to the year 1534/ " ^ Balmaduthie, 
an estate in Knockbain parish in the same county, also 
means the Town of St Duthac, the -ma being the honorific 
prefix so often found connected with the names of Celtic 
saints. Baldutho, in the barony of Kellie in Fife, also 
points to St Duthac. 

Balcormo, in the same county, is the town of St Cormack, 
a seafaring saint, familiar to us through his connection 
with St Columba.^ Dunbarny parish, Perthshire, has a 
Balcormac, where there were quarries belonging to the 
Abbey of Scone, whence King Robert the Bruce requested 
that stones might be taken for ''the edification of the 
church of Perth and of the bridges of Perth and Earn."* 
Another early navigator, St Brendan, is commemorated in 
Balbirnie. There is a Balbirnie in Ruthven parish, Forfar- 
shire; there is another in Markinch parish, Fife; while 
a third (Balbirny) is mentioned in a charter of 1579 ^^ 
situated in the Barony of Tarvat (Tarvit) in the same 
county.* In Fife, too, we find Balmungo, not far from St 
Andrews, suggesting, one is tempted to think, the name of 
St Mungo or Kentigern, who, though best known for his 
work in Strathclyde, had a strong link with the east 
country, having been born and trained at Culross.^ 

Near Aberlemno in Forfarshire are the lands of Balglassie 
granted to Sir William Disschington by David IL in 1366.* 

^ O. p. S., vol. ii. p. 433. "^ Adamnan, chaps, vi., xlii. 

' Fittis's Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 25. ^ R. M. S., 1546-80. 

' Mr W. J. N. Liddall, in his ' Place-Names of Fife and Kinross/ g^ves 
quite another interpretation of Balmung-o. He equates it with Baile + 
Muingeach — i,e.t Town of Sedgfes. 

* Jervise's Memorials, vol. i. p. 249. 


Did these lands derive their name from St Glascianus — ^the 
titular of Kilmaglas, otherwise Strachur parish, in Aiigyll — 
who is thought to have left a trace of himself in the name 
of Kinglassie parish, Fife, where there is a spring known as 
St Glass's Well ? A definite answer is not easy. Balmal- 
colm (in Kingskettle parish, Fife, and in Collace parish, 
Perthshire) is also difficult to interpret. If the name could 
be found as Balmacolm, the -wa would probably be the 
honorific prefix to Columba. As it appears in its present 
form, Balmalcolm may be either " the town of the servant 
of Saint Columba " or " the town of Malcolm," with onl}' 
a remote connection through etymology with St Columba. 

Balmartin in the island of North Uist, where there was 
formerly a chapel, recalls St Martin of Tours ; while Balluig, 
mentioned in a charter of 1541 as on the lands of Arstinchar 
(Ardstinchar) in Carrick, and Balmoloch near Kilsyth (given 
in Blaeu's map), tell of Luag, otherwise St Moluag of Lis- 
more, who died in 592. We have a trace of St Kessog of 
Luss in Balkissock, an estate in Girvan parish, Ayrshire, 
and in Balmokessaik on the lands of Arstinchar named in 
the charter of 1541 just mentioned. Nor must we omit 
Kissoktoun in Senwick parish, now united to Borgue, given 
in Timothy Font's map of Galloway, and thus referred to in 
a charter dated 22nd July 153 1 : " Five marcatas terraxum 
de Litill Dunrod alias Kessoktoun antiqui extentus in par- 
ochia de Sannyk." ^ Balmaha in Buchanan parish, opposite 
the island of Inchcailleach and near the foot of Loch 
Lomond, recalls St Mahew, a companion of St Patrick, 
who is believed to have lived at Kingarth in Bute. **On 
the hillside above the Milton of Buchanan there is a well 
which still goes by the name of St Maha's Well, to which 
people resorted within the memory of some still living to 
seek for cure."* 

Balmerino in Fife is well known for its ruined Cistercian 
Abbey on a rising-ground near the Tay, founded in 1227 by 
Ermengarda, widow of William the Lion.' The fact is, 
perhaps, not so well known that its name probably em- 

' R. M. S., 1513-46. 

^ J. Guthrie Smith's Strathendrick, p. 98, note. 

' Rev. Dr Campbell's Balmerino and its Abbey, pp. 5J-69. 


bodies that of St Merinach, one of the companions of St 
Regulus.^ Benedictus was one of the followers of St Boni- 
face in the seventh century. Bishop Forbes is inclined to 
think that Bonoc or Bonach is the same name in an altered 
form, though he allows that if so the form is unusual.^ St 
Bonoc had some link with Leuchars in Fife. There is Bal- 
bunnoch, close to Invergowrie in Longforgan parish, Perth- 
shire, which may be the town of St Bonach. St Boniface 
founded a church at Invergowrie, and it would be natural 
to find a trace of one of his companions in the neighbour- 
hood ; but the question is one of difficulty. 

Old Meldrum parish, Aberdeenshire, was known till 1684 
as Bothelnie, Bethelnie, or Balthelney. These latter names 
are believed to be a corruption of Bal-Nethalen or Both- 
nethalen — i^., the Dwelling of St Nathalan or St Nachlan, 
the patron saint of the district, who is said to have flourished 
in the seventh century. The parish church stood at 
Bothelnie till the year just mentioned, when it was re- 
moved to the village of Old Meldrum. Only its foundations 
now remain with the surrounding burying -ground, where, 
according to tradition, the saint was interred. The 
presence of his relics is said to have protected the parish 
from an invasion of pestilence. According to another tra- 
dition this immunity was due to the fervent prayers of the 
saint, who went round the bounds of the parish on his knees. 
There is no doubt that the memory of St Nathalan was held 
in reverence in the district till quite modem times. The 
writer of the parish article in the * N. S. A.' • says : '* A day 
called St Nathalin's Day was for a long period observed in 
honour of the supposed benefactor. Several persons yet 
alive [i.e., in 1840] recollect that in their early years St 
Nathalin's Day was still so far attended to that no work 
was performed on it throughout the parish. Until a very 
late period a market-day was held in Old Meldrum annually 
in the month of January, which was called Nathalin's fair." 
Tullich on Deeside is the reputed birthplace of St Nathalan. 
His day was kept as a holiday in the district till about forty 

' VitU Appendix, K. ^ Kal., pp. 283, 467. 

' Aberdeen, p. 477. Vide also * Collections — Shires of Aberdeen and 
Banff,' p. 558. 


years ago, and was held on or about the nineteenth of 
January. Football was the favourite amusement on the oc- 
casion. The churchyard, which had then no wall round it, 
was the place selected for the game, and the ball was kicked 
about over the tombs amid the snow. 

In Glen Lyon, in Perthshire, is Baile-a-Mhullin-£onan 
— i.e,y the Milltown of St Eonan, where there is still a meal- 
mill. The original mill is believed to have been built by 
the saint in question, whose memory was held in reverence 
for centuries in the district. A proof of this reverence is 
to be found in the fact that it was only in comparatively 
recent times that the mill was allowed to work on October 
6, the annual festival of the saint.^ Mr Charles Stewart 
gives the following account of Glen Lyon traditions regard- 
ing the saint: ''Christianity, if not introduced into the 
glen, was at least placed on a firm and lasting footing, by 
its patron saint Eonan, or Little Hugh. Who he was, or 
whence he came, we can't tell. There is a tradition, which 
is not improbable, that he came to StrathfiUan with Congan 
and Faolan, and there separated from them, taking Glen 
Lyon for his field of missionary effort. The constant 
association of his name with its religious history, the 
unfailing record of his work and success, handed down from 
generation to generation, together with the distinct traces 
of his personal work, put his life and labours in the glen 
beyond a doubt. At Baile-a-MhuUin-Eonan (Milltown of 
Eonan) we have the place where he resided. We have 
close at hand an island named after him, with a pool beside 
it, where probably he baptised his converts ; and some miles 
farther down the glen, at Craigiannie, the stone at the side 
of which he knelt, when, by the efficacy of his prayers, he 
stayed the progress of the plague in its devastating journey 
up the glen. The glen tradition also bears that he died 
at Baile-a-MhuUin, having previously directed that the 
coffin containing his mortal remains should be carried 
eastwards until one of the duil (or loops of wythes placed 
under it for steadying the bearers) broke. It was conse- 
quently borne down Glen Lyon, through Fortingall, and 

^ A similar feeling of respect for the memory of St Pillan kept his mill at 
KiUin silent on his festival till modem times. 


onwards through Appin of Menzies^ until one of the duil 
broke at the place thenceforward called Dul or Dull. Here 
he was buried and a church built over his grave, where after- 
wards a monastery was instituted, and where now stands the 
parish church of Dull. His F6ill was until lately held at 
Dull on the 6th day of October."^ Eonan is one of the 
usual variants of Adamnan, Abbot of lona ; but Mr Stewart 
is disposed to regard the two in this case as different 
persons. Dr Skene, however, identifies the patron of Dull 
with the abbot in question.* The 23rd September is St 
Adamnan's Day,^ and it is worth noticing that St Eonan's 
anniversary at Baile-a-MhuUin-Eonan and Dull fell on the 
6th October, which corresponds roughly with the former 
date according to the old style of reckoning. 

^ Gaelic Kingdom in Scotland, pp. 75, 76. 

' Celt. Scot., vol. ii. p. 175. * Adamnan, Introd., p. clx. 



Stofu~worib^ — Changing men and beeuts into stone — St Comely — Other 
Saints — StamUng'Stones in folk»lore — Stone of 0£n — ** Going to the 
elacban " — Clayshant — Claeb^math'Luag — St fVaUacFs Stone — St 
Brandon* s Sianes — St AfichaePs Crrave — Ringin' Stone ^St Oriaad*s 
Stone — Martin's Stone — The Nine Maidens — St Thomas's chair — Other 
examples — St AdriofCs Coffin — Suidhe Chalium Clnlle — St MoRos — Stone 
hoots in Celtic hagiology — Examples — St Patrick — Moe&latha — St 
Columha't Pillow — Saints* cairns — St Bride's Ring, 

" Stone-worship," as Sir John Lubbock remarks, " is a 
form of that indiscriminate worship which characterises the 
human mind in a particular phase of development." ^ It 
can hardly be doubted that beliefs connected with this 
archaic cult found their way into the annals of hagiology. 
Stories occur of saints changing men and beasts into stone 
by a mere exercise of will. Thus according to a Bretagne 
legend, St Corn6ly suddenly petrified a Roman army, whose 
ranks are represented by the long lines of monoliths still 
to be seen in the neighbourhood of Carnac. St Patrick, 
according to an Irish tradition, turned a company of Druids 
into stone in virtue of his miraculous powers. Dr Todd 
narrates a legend regarding St Ultan, a disciple of St 
Declan of Ardmore, to the effect that the saint, when a 
hostile fleet appeared, made the sign of the cross, thereby 
sinking the ships and turning the sailors who tried to swim 
ashore into great rocks.' St Findchua changed to stone 
a number of horses which were driven, contrary to his wish, 
into a certain meadow near Bangor in the north of Ireland ; 

^ Origin of Civilisation, p. 221. * Life of St Patrick, p. 212. 



wherefore the meadow became known as Gort-na-Liac — 
i.e., the Field of the Stones.^ The Welsh saints, Cadoc and 
lUtyd, turned to stone certain wolves and pigs respectively, 
while the latter completed the work by doing the same 
to the robbers who had stolen the pigs.* In Scotland St 
Mauritius, otherwise Machar, after settling on the banks 
of the Don, turned into stone a fierce boar that infested 
the district; and it is related of St Machan of Campsie 
that he treated in a similar way some oxen that had been 
removed without his consent.* 

Jocelin of Furness, the biographer of St Kentigern, tells 
us that the head of a ram belonging to the saint, which had 
been cut off by a robber, was miraculously turned into stone, 
and, as a judgment, remained fixed to the hands of the 
thief till he was released through the intervention of the 
saint. Jocelin remarks : '* The stone remains there to this 
day as a witness to the miracle, and, though mute, declares 
the merit of St Kentigern."* 

Instances like the above, though not in harmony with 
twentieth century notions, were quite in keeping with the 
beliefs of early times. Even apart from the personal in- 
fluence of a saint, we find instances of human beings be- 
coming transformed into stones. Thus the Hurlers — the 
remains of three stone-circles near Caradonhill in Cornwall 
— represent the effigies of a number of persons who, on one 
occasion long ago, played on Sunday at hurling, a Cornish 
game of ball, and were in consequence fixed to the spot 
for ever.^ On a rising ground near Hounam village in 
Roxburghshire is a semicircle of upright stones locally styled 
the Eleven Shearers, so called " from a popular story that 
at a remote period they were human beings who had been 
turned into stones for reaping on the Lord's Day."® 

On the farm of Whiteholm in Tundergarth parish, Dum- 
friesshire, is a semicircle of upright stones known in the 
district as the Seven Brethren.^ The reason for the name 

^ The Book of Lismore, p. 232. - Fryer's Llantwit Major, p. 27. 

^ Kal., s,v, ** Mauritius and Machan." 

* Metcalfe's Ancient Lives of Scottish Saints, pp. 266, 267. 
B Black's Guide to Cornwall (15th ed.), p* 8. 

• O. P. S., voL i. p, 396. ' N. S. A., Dumfries, p. 198. 

2 C 


is not recorded ; but whether in this particular case there 
was any idea of metamorphosis or not, there is no doubt 
that the belief in such a transformation was widespread. 
Folk-lore, indeed, has annexed standing-stones. Regarding 
the island of Lewis, Martin says: ^'Several other stones 
are to be seen here in remote places, and some of them 
standing on one end. Some of the ignorant Vulgar say, 
they were Men by Inchantment turn'd into Stones: and 
others say, they are Monuments of Persons of Note kill'd 
in Battel."^ The Gaelic -speaking inhabitants of Lewis 
still call such monoliths fir chreig — ue., false men. On the 
west of the island is the townland of Ballantrushal, deriving 
its name from a huge monolith called Clach-an-Truiseil —, the Stone of Enchantment. Near West Skeld in Shet- 
land are two monoliths, regarding which the following 
tradition is given in the ' N. S. A.':* "These are said to 
be the metamorphoses of two wizards or giants who were 
on their way to plunder and murder the inhabitants of 
West Skeld. . . . But the first rays of the morning sun 
appeared, and they were immediately transformed, and 
remain to the present time in the shape of two tall moss- 
grown stones of ten feet in height." Beliefs regarding the 
enchanted origin of standing -stones are to be found also 
in other countries — e.g., in Portugal, as thus indicated by 
Mr Oswald Crawfurd: "The huge columns which the 
Roman engineer set up along the roadway still startle the 
visitor with their size and their wonderful preservation. 
The dwellers among the hills, whose ancestors must have 
seen the legionaries march by, have lost all tradition of 
the fact, and ascribe these strange monoliths to super- 
natural causes."' 

The removal of stones from their ancient sites is fre- 
quently believed to result in disaster of some kind. On 
the banks of the Tarff in Wigtownshire, at Laggangam, 
are seven remarkable standing - stones occupying a low 
grassy knoll, where twice as many are said to have once 
stood. Two of them bear incised crosses. About a 
hundred years ago the tenant of Laggangarn farm removed 

^ Western Isles, p. 9. ' Shetland, p. iii, note. 

' Round the Calendar in Portugal, p. 283. 


some of the stones and used them for lintels in a building 
he was erecting. Soon after he was bitten by a mad dog, 
and died of hydrophobia — in consequence, it was believed, 
of his act.^ About a mile below the bridge of Fintry in 
Stirlingshire, to the north of the river Endrick, stands a 
cup-marked stone about four feet in height. Regarding it 
Mr A. F. Hutchison, as quoted in Mr Guthrie Smith's 

* Strathendrick,' observes:* "The stone seems to have 
brought down through the ages a tradition of sanctity in 
connection with it, as there is a legend to the effect that 
any attempt to move it is attended by convulsions of nature 
and evil consequences to the rash disturber." Who does 
not recall the tall stone of Odin near the circle of Stennis 
in Orkney, with its oval hole for plighting vows by the 
promise of Odin ? Its fate is thus described by Sir Daniel 
Wilson: "After having survived the waste of centuries 
until it had nearly outlived the last traditionary remem- 
brance of the strange rites with which it had once been 
associated, it was barbarously destroyed by a neighbouring 
farmer in the year 1814." * This farmer had only recently 
come to Orkney, and the natives of the island were so 
incensed by the deed that they subjected him to various 
petty persecutions, and twice tried to set fire to his house, 
"to revenge the loss of their sacramental stone." Some 
remains of it, however, are still to be seen. 

There is reason to believe that our early missionaries 
chose the neighbourhood of groups of standing -stones as 
sites for their places of worship. This they did probably 
because the inhabitants of our land assembled at such spots 
for ceremonial purposes. The Rev. Dr Longmuir, in his 

* Madyn Stane of Bennachie,' observes : " The sites of 
standing -stone circles have been chosen, in many cases, 
as the most suitable place for parish churches ; hence some 
of these stones are within the enclosure of the kirkyard, 
and some of them have been got in the foundations or walls 
of old churches. The suitableness of their position for 
churches has been singularly proved in at least two cases : 
the parish churches of Echt and Marnoch had both been 

1 P. s. A. Scot., vol. X. p. 56. • P. 259. 

' Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, vol. i. p. 146. 


built in the neighbourhood of such circles, but on lower 
ground and on the water side : when the old churches went 
to decay, the more modern buildings by which they have 
been replaced have both been built among the stones. It 
may further be remarked that so intimately were the stones 
{clachan in Gaelic) and the church associated in the minds 
of the Gaelic -speaking population that 'going to the 
clachan' was equivalent to 'going to the church/" St 
Merchard evangelised the district of Glenmoriston, Inver- 
ness-shire, and became its patron saint. According to a 
local tradition narrated by Mr Wm. Mackay, the saint built 
his church — Clachan Mhercheird — at the spot beside the 
river Moriston, which is now the old burying-ground of 
Glenmoriston.^ The spot is said to have been selected 
for the purpose, because the saint was instructed to found 
his church wherever his bell, which came into his possession 
miraculously, should ring of its own accord for the third 
time. This it did at the spot indicated. The traditions 
of the district regarding the bell are thus narrated by Mr 
Mackay : " Merchard's bell was preserved at his clachan 
until about twenty years ago [i.^., till about 1873], when it 
went amissing, — removed, it is supposed, by strangers 
employed in the district. Its powers and attributes were 
of a wonderful order. It indicated, as we have seen, where 
Merchard's church was to be built. Until the very last 
the sick and infirm who touched it in faith were cured and 
strengthened. After the church became ruinous, in the 
seventeenth century, it was kept on an ancient tombstone, 
specially set apart for it. If removed to any other place 
it mysteriously found its way back. When a funeral 
approached, it rang of its own accord, saying, * Home, 
home ! to thy lasting place of rest ! ' If thrown into water 
it floated on the surface, but this the people were slow to 
put to the test, in deference to Merchard's warning : * I am 
Merchard from across the land ; keep ye my sufferings deep 
in your remembrance, and see that ye do not for a wager 
(or trial) place this bell in the pool to swim.'"* St 
Columba is also believed to have visited the district and 

^ Urquhart and Glenmoriston, pp. 323, 324. ^ Ibid., pp. 324, 325. 


"probably founded, at Invermoriston, the old church known 
as Clachan Cholumchille, or Columba's Church. In the 
immediate vicinity of its site is Columba's Well, a holy 
fountain noted for many centuries for its remarkable cura- 
tive properties."* Near the ruins of Kirkchrist, in Old 
Luce parish, Wigtownshire, is a spring known as Clauchan 
Well — Le.f the Well of the Church. In the same county 
v^s the ancient parish of Clachshant or Clayshant, united 
to Stoneykirk in 1650. The name is Gaelic, and signifies 
a holy stone. The church was built near the shore on what 
is now the farm of Clayshant, where some vestiges of it 
are still to be seen. Clachanarrie, in Mochrum parish, 
means the Stones of Worship, — arrie being the Gaelic aoradh, 
worship, Latin adoratio. Near the farm of Little Fandowie 
in Strathbraan, Perthshire, are some remains of a group 
of standing -stones, locally styled Clachan Aoradh. Mr J. 
Mackintosh Gow observes: "The names applied to this 
group of stones — Clachan Aoradh — which is understood 
as ' worshipping stones,' has no doubt prevented their total 
destruction or removal from cultivated ground. There is 
a mountain ash -tree of considerable age standing beside 
the only remaining upright stone." ' We find the singular 
of Clachan Aoradh in Clachnaharry, a village on the Beauly 
Firth near Inverness. Land granted to the founder of a 
church was known as tearmtmn {ternwn), from Latin terminus, 
a limit ; and as such land possessed the right of sanctuary 
the word came to signify a refuge. Professor Mackinnon 
gives the following example of the use of iermon in topo- 
graphy : " In a place-name in Colonsay the word is pre- 
served with the original signification of * sanctuary.' Right 
in the middle of the strand that separates Colonsay and 
Oronsay, and covered by the sea for twelve hours of the 
twenty-four, is Clach-an-tearmuinn, *the termon stone,* 
marking the limit to which the sanctuary rights of Oronsay 
Priory reached. The base of the structure, strongly built 
with stone and lime, is still entire, but the cross has 
disapppeared." * 

To various stone sites have been attached for centuries 

1 Urquhart and Glenmoriston, p. 333. 

' P. S. A« Scot., vol. xix. p. 42. ' Scotsman, Article No. viii. 


the names of certain of the early saints. These sites, as a 
rule, still retain some of the reverence paid to them in primi- 
tive times when the saint's cultus was something more than 
a matter of merely antiquarian interest. In a garden at 
Fortingall in Perthshire stands '* a tall, somewhat obelisk- 
shaped boulder," locally known as Clach-math-Luag — f^., 
the Stone of St Moluag, its connection with that Lismore 
saint having saved it from demolition.^ The Aberdeenshire 
parishes of Logie-Mar and Coldstone, united in 1618, were 
associated about the beginning of the eighth century with 
the missionary labours of St Wallach, whose name is pre- 
served in the old rhyme — 

" Wallach's fair in Logie-Mar 
The thirtieth day of Januar.** 

Close to the ancient burying -ground of Logie-Mar is to 
be seen St Wallach's Stone. '' It is a handsome monolith, 
six feet high," remarks Sir Arthur Mitchell; ''and one 
would not have been surprised to learn that tradition made 
it a petrifaction of the Druid whom St Wallach dispos- 
sessed." * The stone measures three feet in breadth, and is 
quite in its natural state, showing neither inscription nor 
sculpturing of any kind. It was formerly built into the 
churchyard dyke, whence it was removed to its present site. 
The old kirk of Boyndie in Banffshire was dedicated to 
St Brendan, and on the farm of Bankhead, near Tillynaught 
Station, are the remains of a megalithic circle called St 
Brandan's Stanes. I am indebted to Dr William Cramond 
of CuUen for the following note regarding them: "They 
are hornblende blocks, evidently the remains of an old 
burial circle; but the stones are now huddled together. 
One block is six feet high ; another is five feet high. One 
upright stone has cup-marks." In the field close to the 
ancient burying-ground of Kilmichel in the north-west of 
Bute is a group of stones known as Michael's or St Michael's 
Grave. The Rev. Dr J. K, Hewison says : " These stones are 
five in number, and placed side by side, nearly east and west, 
the largest being four feet three inches high. On the north 

' Campbell's Book of Garth and Fortingall, p. 72. 
* P. S. A. Scot, voL X. p. 605. 


side one much smaller stone is in situ ; the rest have been dis- 
placed. The table-stone is an irregular oval, six feet nine 
inches by four feet six inches, and nine inches thick/' ^ the 
whole being clearly a ruined dolmen. The site is evidently 
named after Maccaille, an Irishman, a disciple of St Patrick, 
who was consecrated bishop about 465, and died some twenty- 
five years later. As Dr Hewison points out, the fact of the 
site being popularly called a grave shows that "the local 
patron was not looked upon as of celestial origin," and 
besides, the adjoining church probably dates from a period 
anterior to the dedication of Celtic oratories to St Michael 
the Archangel. On the farm of Johnstoun in Leslie parish, 
Aberdeenshire, is a monolith styled in the district the 
Ringin' Stane or Ringan's Stane. It was formerly sur- 
rounded by a cairn of small stones. The monolith, as Jer- 
vise suggests, ** possibly preserves the name of the saint (St 
Ringan or Ninian), to whom either the parish church or some 
other local place of worship may have been dedicated."' 
The monolith has a cup-mark incised on its eastern face. 
At Cossins, in Glamis parish, Forfarshire, about a mile 
north-east from the castle, stands a symbol-bearing obelisk 
known as St Orland's or St Airland's Stone; but who the 
saint was no one knows. The obelisk stands on a sandy 
knoll surrounded by swampy ground, and is 7 feet 9 inches 
in height, and in breadth 2 feet 4 inches at the base, and 
2 feet 2% inches at the top. It is sculptured on both faces. 
On one face there is a cross, '' with small circular projections 
in the hollows between the arms." On the other face there 
are horsemen and hounds, a boat containing six figures, 
and a beast with formidable claws attacking a bull or cow.* 
This beast is evidently what the writer of the parish article 
in the 'N. S. A.'^ calls ''an animal resembling a dragon." 
The dragon - symbol appears on a monolith known as 
Martin's Stone, in the Strathmartin portion of the united 
parish of Mains and Strathmartin. Its name is thus ac- 
counted for in the 'O. S. A.'^ Tradition says that at the 

^ The Isle of Bute in the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 66. 

* Epitaphs, vol. ii. p. 334. 

* Early Christian Monuments of Scotland, Part III., pp. 216-218. 

* Forfar, p. 345. • Vol. xiii. p. 99. 


place where the stone is erected a dragon which had de- 
voured nine maidens (who had gone out on a Sunday even- 
ing one after another to fetch spring water to their father) 
was killed by a person called Martin , and that hence it was 
named Martin's Stone." Jervise says : " The following 
rhyme is popularly believed to indicate the cause of the 
dragon's rapaciousness, and the progress of the conflict be- 
tween it and the victor : — 

* It was tempit at Pitempan, 
Draiglet at Ba'dragon, 
Stricken at Strickmartin, 
An' kiird at Martin's Stanc' " * 

There is no doubt that Martin's Stone was in reality named 
after St Martin, to whom the church of Strathmartin was 
dedicated by Bishop David de Bernham of St Andrews on 
i8th May 1249. Another stone in the district has serpents 
sculptured on it* Jervise thinks that these and the dragon 
on Martin's Stone gave rise to the story of the monster, and 
the name Baldragon ^ may also have lent its aid. The re- 
mainder of the legend may be explained by a reference to 
the patron saint of the church, and to the Nine Maidens of 
the Glen of Ogilvy at Glamis, who had a chapel in Strath- 
martin parish, probably near Pitempan. 

A stone known as St Thomas's Chair once stood in Hal- 
kirk parish, Caithness. Its fate is thus described in the 
* O. S. A.' : ^ " Near St Thomas's Church are the remains of 
a fine monumental stone that was erected there as a 
memorial of some interesting event. It was nine feet high 
above ground. I cannot say nor find what the particular 
event was. But that it was revered and sacredly preserved, 
as a distinguishing mark of something momentous, appears 
from hence that, in John Sinclair's time, late of Ulbster, pro- 
prietor of that land, a set of ruffians broke it wantonly, who 
immediately were pursued by the neighbours, and on their 
being overtaken, a scuifie ensued and was the occasion of 
bloodshed. The said John Sinclair, heritable sheriff of the 
county, decerned the sacrilegious villains in a fine of a cow 

^ Epitaphs, vol. i. p. 206, * Vide Dragonsden in chap. xxiv. 

' Vol. xix. p. 4S. 


the piece. Soon afterwards the remains of the monument 
were erected, and enclosed with a stone dike at his own ex- 
pence, both of which are since entirely demolished." St 
Modan's Chair, formerly to be seen in Ardchattan parish, 
Argyll, is thus referred to by Principal Story: "In the open- 
ing of Glensalach there stood a large flat stone big enough to 
seat twenty people, which was known as Suidhe Mhaodain 
(the Seat of Modan). A few years ago a barbarian stone- 
mason blew it up with gunpowder, and split it into lintels 
for doors and windows." ^ Commenting on its destruction, 
Dr R. Angus Smith says : "I have never seen Suidhe Mhao- 
dain, or Modan's Seat, which was up in Glen Salach. We 
learn from Dr Story that it was hewn into pieces a few years 
ago for building purposes, and this in a land of good granite 
stones ! " * 

The hardness of such seats was quite in keeping with the 
ascetic habits of our early missionaries. We are told St 
Kentigem had a chair and a bed, both of rock, close to the 
Molendinar at Glasgow. " The latter," says Bishop Forbes, 
"was rather a sepulchre than a bed, with a stone for a 
pillow, like Jacob."' At Kells in Ireland a flat stone, six 
feet long, goes by the name of Columba's Penitential Bed.* 
Dairy in Kirkcudbrightshire is also known as St John's 
Clachan. In the village is a stone, locally styled St John's 
Chair. It once lay in the old church, still to be seen in the 
picturesque graveyard beside the Ken. There are traces of 
St Ninian in Glen Lyon in Perthshire, and one of them is a 
stone seat, called after him " Cathair Innian." " The saint 
used to rest himself on a stone seat, which any one who 
wishes can find sound and safe on a bank a little eastward 
of the Inverinian houses; and this stone seat or sofa was 
said to repair itself whenever it was chipped, and woe to the 
person who raised hand or hammer against it ! "^ 

On a hill in the neighbourhood of the church of Marnoch 
in Banffshire was once to be seen a stone block known as St 
Marnan's Chair, where doubtless the saint sat and surveyed 

^ St Modan of Rosneath, p. 18. 

' Loch Etive and the Sons of Uisnach, p. 276. 

* Kal., s,v. " Kentigem." * Petrie's Round Towers, p. 426. 

^ Campbell's Book of Garth and Fortingall, p. 61. 


the surrounding landscape. In Abqyne parish, Aberdeen- 
shire, was a large stone with a hollow in it known as Mach- 
richa's Chair, Muchricha being probably the same as St 
Macbricha, whose cross was referred to in chap. xiv. About 
the b^^ning of the present century, as we learn from the 
* N. S. A.,' ^ ** this chair some masons, unawed by Much- 
richa, spilt into pieces to assist in the building of the neigh- 
bouring farmhouse." St Fillan at Glendochart, in Perth- 
shire, had his name associated with a stone chair that lay for 
long beside the mill of Killin, but was wantonly thrown into 
the river Dochart flowing past the spot, and was never after- 
wards recovered. The saint seems to have had a liking for 
stone seats, if tradition may be believed; for in the Renfrew- 
shire parish of Killallan, united to Houston in 1760, is St 
Fillan's Chair, near the ivy-clad ruins of his church. It is 
an earth-fast boulder with a shallow circular hollow on the 
top, some fourteen inches across. To the right, as one sits, 
and close enough to be within reach of the hand, is a much 
smaller hollow, irregularly oval in shape; and it was with 
water from this cavity that the saint is said to have ad- 
ministered the rite of baptism while seated ^in his chair.' 
In ' Houstoniana ' ' the following curious information is 
given : " Some distance to the northwards of the Kirk of 
Killallan there used to be a large fiat stone set among the 
heath called the ' Kneelins.' It received the name from the 
fact that those who made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St 
Fillan knelt on the spot when addressing their prayers to 
the saint. So often had the action been repeated that there 
were two holes in the stone said to have been worn by the 
knees of the suppliants." Fillan's namesake, with whom he 
is apt to be confounded, — the saint of Rath Erenn (now Dun- 
durn) in Perthshire, — is said to have sat in a rocky seat on 
the top of green Dunfillan near Comrie, known as St Fillan's 
Chair. Till about a hundred years ago the chair was con- 
nected with a superstitious ritual for the cure of rheumatism 
in the back. The patient sat in the chair, and then, lying 
on his back, was dragged down the hill by the legs. The 
saint's infiuence, lingering about the spot, was thought to 

^ Aberdeen, p. 1059. ' P. S. A. Scot., vol. zxix. p. 254. * P. 23* 


ensure recovery. The writer of the article on Comrie in the 
'O. S. A.*^ remarks: "At the foot of the hill there is a 
basin made by the saint on the top of a large stone which 
seldom wants water even in the greatest drought, and all 
who are distressed with sore eyes must wash them three 
times with this water." 

The parish of Kildonan in Sutherland can claim St Donan 
of Eigg for its patron, as it bears his name, and, moreover, 
possesses, or at any rate possessed, a " Cathair Dhonain " — 
i.e.f St Donan's Chair — consisting of three large blocks of 
stone situated near the influx of Altbreac burn into Helms- 
dale river.* At Beith, in Ayrshire, St Inan is remembered 
by a fair on the eighteenth of August (O.S.), called Tinan's 
or Tennant's Day, by a holy well, and by a cleft in the Cuff 
Hills that goes by the name of St Inan's Chair. Mr Robert 
Love says: "This chair is formed in part, possibly by 
nature, out of the rock of the hill. Its back and two sides 
are closed in, while in front, to the west, it is open. The 
seat proper is above the ground, in front about two feet 
two inches, is two feet four inches in breadth, and one foot 
four inches in depth backwards. At the height of two feet 
ten inches above the seat the breadth becomes less, narrow- 
ing gradually for three and a half feet more when the top 
of the rock, as it is of the chair, is reached." ' 

In Flisk parish, Fife, is a group of stones called St 
Muggin's Seat — Muggin being a corrupted form of 
MacGidrin, otherwise Adrian. In the ruins of St Adrian's 
Chapel, in the Isle of May, is a sarcophagus, known as St 
Adrian's Coffin, dating probably from the thirteenth century. 
A fragment of a similar coffin in the tower of the church of 
Anstruther- Wester goes by the same name. It is believed 
to be a portion of the one on the May, and to have been 
brought thence, or, according to a somewhat modern 
tradition, to have floated across itself.* About two miles 
and a half to the south-east of Dunfermline is a stone block 
believed to be the last of a group of standing-stones. Tra- 
dition says that it was used by St Margaret, wife of Malcolm 

^ Vol. xi. p. 181. ^ Sage's Memorabilia Domestica, p. 96. 

* P. S. A. Scot., vol. xi. p. 293. 

* Dr John Stuart's Records of the Isle of May, Pref., p. Ivi, note. 


Canmore, as a seat whereon she rested when journeying to 
and from the Forth ferry. A neighbouring farm is named 
St Margaret's Stone Farm, after the block. Dr Henderson 
observes: ''In 1856 this stone was removed to an adjacent 
site by order of the road-surveyor to widen the road, which 
required no widening, as no additional traffic was likely to 
ensue, but the reverse ; it is therefore much to be regretted 
that the old landmark was removed. It is in contemplation 
to have the stone replaced on its old site (as nearly as 
possible)." ^ The lands of Margaret Stane were granted in 
1580 by Robert, Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey, to 
John Durie, formerly one of the conventual brethren of the 
said abbey.* 

Arran once had a Suidhe Challum Chille — i.e., Columba's 
Seat — a cairn or mound in Glen Suidhe, where, according 
to tradition, Columba sat to rest when on his way to Shiskin 
from Lamlash, in the company of his disciple Molios. As 
we saw in chap, iii., the latter had a stone chair just below 
his cave on Holy Island, and a stone bed in the cave itself. 
A sculptured figure of an ecclesiastic — ^the supposed effigy 
of the saint — was formerly in the graveyard of Shiskin, but 
was removed a few years ago to St Molios's Church, a 
chapel-of-ease built in 1889, about a mile nearer Blackwater- 
foot, where it may now be seen in a niche in the west wall 
below the tower. The superstitious reverence paid to the 
figure when at Shiskin was such that even during last 
century, as MacArthur informs us, it was customary for 
females after their confinement to lay upon the stone a 
silver coin as a thank-offering for their recovery.' 

Celtic hagiology tells how stones served as boats when 
the sea had to be crossed. Hunt, in his ' Romances of the 
West of England,' alludes to the belief that St Kea and St 
Pirran passed from Ireland to Cornwall in this way. When 
St Moluag was refused a passage in a vessel sailing from 
Ireland to the island of Lismore in Argyll, the stone on 
which he stood was miraculously turned into a boat to 
allow him to cross to the scene of his future labours.* Certain 
rocks along our coasts are connected with legends of this 

^ Annals of Dunfermline, p. 18. ^ R. M. S. 

' Antiquities of Arran, pp. 88, 89. * Kal., p. 410. 


kind. The late Rev. Dr Stewart of Ballachulish informed 
me that " on the island of Barra there is a stone shown — a 
large boulder with a hollow or depression a-top — ^which the 
people, who are almost all Roman Catholics, religiously 
believe was often used by Saint Ban* as a boat in which he 
made frequent voyages to the lesser islands around, and 
sometimes even to Ireland." Baudron's Boat, a roc